When critics talk about the heyday of American filmmaking in the 1970's, director Robert Altman was not only a part of that flourishing, he was at the forefront. With movies like McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), Nashville (1975), and Three Women (1977), my personal favorites--his films did not seem to operate by any predictable formula. A new documentary, Altman, will air on EPIX, directed by Ron Mann, featuring interviews with Kathryn Altman, Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, Julianne Moore, Sally Kellerman, Keith Carradine, Lyle Lovett, James Caan, and many other stars who worked in his films.
One of the interviewees, Elliott Gould starred in The Long Goodbye (1973), as Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler's famed fictional detective. In a recent phone conversation about this legendary director, Gould explained what made working with Altman so special.