Robert Altman (1925–2006) was an American film director and screenwriter.
One of his famous techniques was to film group scenes continuously with multiple cameras, forcing the actors to stay in character and sometimes to improvise action or dialogue because any moment of their performance could end up in the film
A moviemaking maverick with little use for the Hollywood establishment, Altman was nevertheless nominated for the Academy Award
for Best Director five times, and was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 2006.
Works by Robert Altman with their own trope pages include:
Other works by Robert Altman provide examples of:
- The Danza: Played with in Images, where every major cast member plays a character with the same first name as another major cast member.
- Deconstruction: Of all kinds of American ideas, myths and imagery in general.
- His genre films like McCabe & Mrs. Miller portrayed the most historically researched depiction of what The Wild West was really like and the kind of characters that existed there.
- His movies deconstruct politics as a whole. With Tanner '88 (an HBO mockumentary miniseries directed by Altman and written by Garry Trudeau) this is taken Up to Eleven, giving us an accurate look at the demands of a Presidential campaign.
- Either/Or Title: Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson
- Genre-Busting: All his films, to the point that he invented his own genre of Hyperlink Story that later critics called the Altmanesque film. His earlier films, The Long Goodbye and McCabe & Mrs. Miller, deconstructed Film Noir and The Western itself.
- Hyperlink Story: Brewster McCloud, M*A*S*H, Short Cuts, Nashville, Health, Gosford Park, Kansas City, A Prairie Home Companion, Cookie's Fortune and his TV Miniseries Tanner' 88.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Frequently, it's pretty much what he's best known for. Massively ensemble dramas like Magnolia and Crash tend to get compared to his work.
- Raised Catholic: He became lapsed over the years, and his films generally have an indifferent or irreverent attitude toward religion (exemplified by the "Last Supper" Steal in M*A*S*H).
- Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Famous for averting this trope, usually with overlapping dialogue and some improvisation.