Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Redneck Ring Cycle: Nashville on Blu-ray (1975) ✭✭✭✭

As conceived by Altman and writer Joan Tewksbury, everything about Nashville is larger than life. From its massive melange of roughly two dozen principle characters to its firmly tongue-in-cheek hillbilly anthems to its 160 minute running time, the film’s contours present a distinctly Americanized vision of Grand Opera. Nashville’s loosely spun web of plots and subplots, narrative motifs and leitmotifs, establish, develop and turn back on themselves like a slow motion kaleidoscope of post-Vietnam Americana. In Altman’s oeuvre, there are no such things as starring or supporting roles but rather a swirl of eccentric egalitarianism, with box office heroes sharing full screen time with below-the-line nobodies. This populist approach extends to the storytelling as well, as tales of the rich and famous fully commingle with the lives of lonely drifters and talentless wannabes.