The cinema of Robert Altman was marked by characters who snaked through their lives by insisting on moving forward instead of first reckoning with trauma that they had accrued or engendered. This may have first manifested in the original cut of M*A*S*H where members of the 4077 dispassionately play poker as the body of Ho-Jon, […]

Read More MAGNOLIA (1999)


It’s a strange thing to consider but for all of the power that sex wields to start wars, topple the powerful, and put people into financial or personal ruin, the porn industry is small time. That’s not to say that the porn business doesn’t make boatloads of cash. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I […]

Read More BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997)


The first image we see is a Denny’s. Well, it’s a reconverted Denny’s, at least. The world of Hard Eight is one of unshakable reputations; it can say Jack’s Coffee Shop on the sign but it’s still a Denny’s that has been broken down, sold off, and is quietly functioning in its new skin. Walking […]

Read More HARD EIGHT (1996)


Locked behind security gates with cameras that pepper his estate like so many rose bushes, an exhausted Richard Nixon slowly retreats to his private study with a package in his hand. He first moves toward the fireplace where he pours a brandy and sits as the portrait of George Washington looms above him. Nah… no […]

Read More SECRET HONOR (1984)