A totally intriguing, endlessly absorbing film book, revisited

Mitchell Zuckoff spent countless hours with Robert Altman, who died before the interviews for this book were complete. But Zuckoff, a journalism professor at Boston University, went on to speak with dozens of Altman’s friends and associates, and turned the project into one of the best books of 2009. Now Robert Altman: The Oral Biography is out in paperback—and worth reading whether or not you’re a film buff.

You’ll hear from dozens of movie stars (Lauren Bacall, Warren Beatty, James Caan, Julie Christie, Robert Duvall, Elliott Gould, Julianne Moore, George Segal, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, and Lily Tomlin, among not a few others), directors (Martin Scorsese and Paul Thomas Anderson are especially interesting), and industry players who might have stepped out of any given Altman film (as always, Robert Evans is in fine fettle). The multiple voices and fractured narratives suit the subject beautifully, honoring Altman’s artistry as well as his life.

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A totally intriguing, endlessly absorbing film book, revisited