>Yesterday I watched Nashville (1975) and then followed it up with A Prairie Home Companion (2006). This is a review of neither, rather just a small reflection. In short, watching these films got me thinking about mortality.
I chose Nashville because it is a film I have always wanted to see and it is on my “must see” list (my own film challenge). I chose A Prairie Home Companion because I figured I should see Altman’s last film, and it was just sitting there on the shelf at the library looking right at me. And then it occurred to me that this might make a great double feature. But alas, it is not a great double feature. Nashville is undeniably a masterwork, A Prairie Home Companion is much less. I suppose, at a deeper level, it might be an interesting comparison for someone else to do. I’m sure someone already has.
[Nashville = quintessential Altman, a paragon of his oeuvre. A Prairie Home Companion = less like an Altman film and more like a muddled Alan Rudolph film.]
What I did think about is the idea of a career-arc, and how quickly time flies, and how the span of time can disappear when you have two DVDs in your hand that represent work done 30 years apart. Consider these two parings of images:
Both of these individuals are (Tomlin) or were (Altman) gifted artists. But like me, they are mortal. I am reminded of that quote attributed to Woody Allen: “I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.” I found watching these two films back to back to be a somewhat sobering experience (and therefore a good experience). I found myself wondering what it is that I will leave behind when I’m gone. What will be my legacy?