I have a real hard time explaining to people why an Altmanesque approach is so important to me, and why I think it’s imperative to the film’s structure.

The difficulty comes partly because people who aren’t movie fans have no idea who Robert Altman was.  Younger people maybe never will, unless of course they’re true film aficionados.  To older people, Robert Altman might ring a bell – but all you have to do is mention M*A*S*H and they go, “Oh ye!”.  And then there’s the fair amount of folks who get the movie mixed up with the long running television show by the same name with Mike Farrell and Alan Alda.  Totally different, although Radar O’Reilly was in both.

Basically, most of Altman’s films were structured non-linearly, whereas most standard films have a beginning, middle, and end format (Pulp Fiction is a great example of a non-linear film).  Regarding M*A*S*H, here’s what one person wrote: “Director Robert Altman created a disjointed, episodic film that lacks any kind of plot, yet hits you in the face with the whole absurd idea of war; a timely topic considering when the film was released.”

Most people’s lives don’t flow linearly.  There’s nothing straight forward about me or my life, and since this film would be based heavily on my life – my crazy, quirky and convoluted life – I don’t see this film flowing linearly either.

BUT, most importantly is that something has to make sense of this whacky, almost Twilight Zonish, world in which find ourselves…before it’s too late.

Much to my friends and family’s bewilderment, I keep coming back to an Altmanesque approach because of these two reviewer’s comments: “Altman was an astute observer of humanity and loved the chaotic nature of real life, with its conflicting perspectives, unforeseen twists, unexplained actions, and ambiguous endings.  His films had a sloppy imperfection associated with human beings as we are and life as it’s lived.” & “Altman captured the sheer cacophony of everyday life, and the unspoken harmony amidst the apparent chaos of the world.  Watching an Altman film is like watching a microcosm of the world flash before your eyes, and for once, the world makes sense.”

I have to wonder if they, and most others, don’t see the need for making sense of the world.

So, I figured if anyone was going to understand my infatuation with an Altmanesque approach, and subsequently help me find someone to collaborate with on a treatment, it was Robert Altman’s son Michael.

Here’s Michael’s response from an inquiry I sent him in January of 2022:

Hiya Dave,

Thank you for your ongoing efforts to help our dear mother fend off the great (human) virus!!!!

I truly believe in my heart of hearts that she will soon wipe a great swath of the problems (mainly us) in the very near future through her own methods as a way of dealing with evolution, like a forest fire replenishing the soil for another round of growth. Having said that, I also believe that we can and should be doing everything we can to help balance our exponentially rapid growth and development as well as increasing awareness that EVERYTHING we do has consequences and repercussions.

{m….. <—– steps down from the soapbox}

Sorry bout that. 

I appreciate your letter and wish you all the luck (as you will need it) but I don’t know how I can help you besides possibly occasional friendly (and probably useless) advice and encouragement.

Bad news is I am fully retired and everyone I know or knew in the business is either dead or dying. I will however cheer you on and help if I can in some small way. 

Best of luck moving forward. DON’T give up. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Thank you again for the kind words my friend.