As I am sure many of you know, this past Tuesday was Fat Tuesday, the last blow out before Lent and the end of Carnivale. February 20th also marked another special day, the anniversary of the birth of Robert Altman. Thus, a memorial service was held in New York City’s Majestic Theater for the great filmmaker who lost a long battle with cancer late last year.
I was lucky enough to have attended and it was truly an inspiring event. As an auteur and as a human being, Robert Altman was a force to be reckoned with, something the speakers and guests at his memorial made sure to point out. A true iconoclast, Altman “never met a status quo he didn’t hate,” according to speaker Bob Balaban, Altman’s producer and story collaborator on Gosford Park.
Lauren Bacall, one of my favorite actresses of all time, was here in Berlin to support her most recent film The Walker, by Paul Schrader, and according the IMDb had some choice words to say about the current state of filmmaking, calling it mediocre, among other things and blaming the fall off on TV. “I think unfortunately in television sometimes they want to do good work,” said bacall, according tot he siter, “but a lot of the time they’re doing terrible work and I think that has affected movie making badly. … It’s all about ratings now and everything. It should be about the work, and it’s not.”
Why is this ironic? Well, The Walker is one of the worst films I’ve seen in years and may be Schrader’s worst ever, that’s why!