Too Much To Handle In The Allocated Time.
19 August 2012
Robert Altman spends this entire brief (17 minutes) segment of the popular television series "One On One" discussing the Altman directed feature film "The Player", that he has stated is the favourite of the works that he has helmed. "The Player" is an extraordinary piece, and any attempt to analyse it, even from the top, as here, during such a short period, is apt to leave one simply wishing for more. Altman comments that the film is similar in construction to the shell of a snail, turning into and against itself. This may be a bit too oblique for many viewers, who will instead welcome the director's mention of his casting choices and, in particular, the three principal characters of the affair, Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, and Cynthia Stevenson. Additionally, the enormous number of actors and actresses who contribute cameos are discussed during Altman's commentary. Some deleted scenes are covered by Altman, most notably those showcasing Jeff Daniels, Patrick Swayze, and Richard Edson. A lengthy clip of noirish satire featuring Scott Glenn and Lily Tomlin is revealed by Altman to have been entirely ad libbed, information that will interest a great many viewers. Nonetheless, a large percentage of the director's remarks seem to have little coherent thought behind them, and for the DVD, most audience members will find the sample of clips to be of abiding interest. Although stressing that "The Player" is largely intended as satire, Altman appears to be somewhat uncertain as to which forms the satire has taken, and indeed, when it is, in fact, present. This will not be a conundrum to most viewers, however, as the feature motion picture is delightful from beginning to end, and not less so during dark passages of violence and despair.
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