Robert Altman
USA, FRA 1996
115 min

Robert Altman has often seemed impatient with the conventional ways of making a movie. At 71, he is still the most iconoclastic and experimental of major American filmmakers. His originality and invention pay off in Kansas City, his 31st film – a memory of the wide-open Depression era, circa 1934, when Boss Tom Pendergast ruled, jazz flourished, and the city boasted the largest red-light district in the country. Altman tells a fairly straightforward story about a gun moll who kidnaps a politician’s wife, but there’s a lot more to the film than its story. Altman grew up in Kansas City and he has a lot of memories, first- and secondhand, about a colorful period that always seemed to have a jazz soundtrack. He remembers the “cutting contests” in which soloists would duel onstage, and I think he wants to make this movie a cutting contest, too. The story is intercut with performance footage from the “Hey Hey Club”, and as jazz musicians try to top one another it’s as if the actors are doing the same thing in their arena. (Roger Ebert, 1996)

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh - Blondie O’Hara
  • Miranda Richardson - Carolyn Stilton
  • Harry Belafonte - Seldom Seen
  • Michael Murphy - Henry Stilton
  • Dermot Mulroney - Johnny O’Hara
  • Steve Buscemi - Johnny Flynn
  • Robert Altman
  • Frank Barhydt
  • Oliver Stapleton
  • Richard King
  • Geraldine Peroni
  • Hal Willner
  • Stephen Altman
  • Dona Granata
Sandcastle 5 Productions Ciby 2000
Alamode Film
35 mm
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