Join us in April and May as we present five truly great movies from one of the masters of contemporary cinema, Robert Altman (1925-2006). Our selections begin with a double bill screening of Ron Mann’s 2014 documentary Altman, a comprehensive and entertaining look at Altman’s life and prolific career, followed by the raucous comedy hit that catapulted Altman to success, M*A*S*H*. Celebrated for their expansive casts, satirical vision, and overlapping dialogue, Altman’s best works share a fascination with human psychology and behavior, particularly the pathological and sometimes violent instincts of their main characters. The rest of the lineup includes the revisionist western McCabe & Mrs. Miller, the Bergman-esque dream fable 3 Women, the private-eye classic The Long Goodbye, and the crazy quilt panorama that is Nashville. This series is presented in tandem with a selection of Altman rarities at the 2016 Wisconsin Film Festival, April 14-21, including the uncut version of California Split, HealtH, and the very hard-to-see Altman productions Corn's-A-Poppin' and Remember My Name.

  • Fri., Apr. 8 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

This fun and in-depth look at the life, times, and movies of the legendary, iconoclastic director Robert Altman (1925-2006) features numerous clips from his classics and some rare material as well. Altman is revealed as a rebel with a cause; an artist consistently in control of his body of work who was always able to emerge triumphantly from numerous career setbacks. Director Mann (Comic Book Confidential, Grass) condenses a massive career into a thoroughly engaging 95 minutes.

  • Fri., Apr. 8 | 8:45 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

This wildly irreverent anti-war comedy launched the career of Altman and also spawned the long-running (but comparatively tame) television series. The raucous behavior of the 4077th surgical unit during the Korean War has yet to be equaled on film.

  • Fri., Apr. 22 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

In the late 19th century Pacific Northwest, John McCabe (Beatty) enters a growing mining community hoping to achieve the American Dream in collaboration with whorehouse Madame Constance Miller (Julie Christie). Using a wintry production design, realistic and frumpy costumes, overlapping dialogue, and Leonard Cohen’s mesmerizing music, Altman revitalized the Western genre with this moody character drama that is unlike anything that had been seen before.

  • Fri., Apr. 29 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

After painting the enormous canvas that was Nashville, writer/director Altman shifted gears to make a personal film adapted from his own dream. The bizarre and often very funny story (which sometimes resembles Bergman’s Persona) follows Shelley Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Janice Rule as they play a strange game of identity transfer in a small California desert community. “I have seen it many times, been through it twice in shot-by-shot analysis, and yet it always seems to be happening as I watch it.” (Roger Ebert).

  • Fri., May. 6 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

This funky, witty, and inventive updating of classic film noir is one of director Altman’s finest achievements. Gould plays a completely fresh version of Raymond Chandler’s offbeat private investigator Philip Marlowe. On the trail of the murderer of his best friend’s wife, Marlowe encounters washed-up writers, quack doctors, and a sadistic gangster, each of whom carries a piece of the puzzle. The ending is a stunner!

  • Fri., May. 13 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Over a few days in the Country Music Capital, entertainment, politics, and the lives of 24 individuals converge, culminating in a shocking finale. Perhaps the Altman movie most celebrated by critics (it was also nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture), Nashville lives up to its advertising tagline: “The damndest thing you ever saw!”