the anticipation of plying the first pages of Thomas Pynchon’s new one just took a stumble. turns out mr robert altman has left us. a new work from a great novelist of the literary ensemble, characters cast in mad bundles to leap off the page; and the departure of the silver screen’s original ensemblist… so long mr altman. your nashville and shortcuts gave us the root tone of the human condition, in its major and minor keys finding their players in what seemed the effortless performances you drew out of your actors. you were king among humanists, for where others had much in common with your interests — kieslowski, pt anderson, malick, inarritu, mike leigh, haneke, wong kar wai — you were more of a kurosawa, a painter of the human experience.
but it was your operatic line… that operatic line, which like a solo voice trembling over the twittering machine of humanity’s madness, cracking open the surface to give humanity a hope of finding a common place… that even when that common place may be a hole in the ground, the voice that sings sonorous might fill it, if even for just a while. so long, and thanks for holding the note.