...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

December 12, 2006

MASH - 7

This is one of Robert Altman's early films (He is one of the great film directors of all-time; McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Nashville, The Player, Shortcuts, Gosford Park, A Prairie Home Companion). He has had enormous influence on other directors, most notably PT Anderson (Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love). I have probably been overly harsh on some of his earlier film (follow the links above), but Altman has the gift of making complex films, usually with a massive cast.
This film is a war satire about a medical unit serving in the Korean War. This means there are plenty of gags and guys fooling around, surgery and good health take a back seat to trying to have fun, and a possible golf trip to Japan. At the same time, it also highlights how humor is used in times of great stress and trauma to deal with the huge questions of life that arise when we are confronted with our own mortality. Both an entertaining and thoughtful film (and a great use of the Army Base's PA system).

1 comment:

Jason said...

This is an excellent film, and in many ways more gritty, serious and dramatic then the TV series it launched. -- Jason