The great Robert Altman’s sprawling 1975 drama, Nashville is set to be re-released by BFI Distribution in selected cinemas UK-wide from 25 June 2021 in a glorious 4K restoration, screening for the very first time in the UK. Nashville will get an extended run at BFI Southbank – a highlight of the Robert Altman retrospective season. Robert Altman: American Outsider, will run from 17 May – 31 July and will feature screenings of 34 films from Altman’s five decade long career.
Nashville features an impressive cast including Keith Carradine, Jeff Goldblum, Henry Gibson, Shelley Duvall, Scott Glenn, Karen Black, Michael Murphy Ned Beatty, Lily Tomlin and Geraldine Chaplin. These characters insect during the lead-up to a visit of a presidential candidate, a character who is heard but never seen through the films epic 2 hour and 40 minute running time.
Music is central to Nashville and Altman uses it as a way of heightening the emotional relationships between each of the characters and also showing their superficiality. The film opens with Henry Gibson’s country star recording a patriotic ditty as saccharinely patriotic as an American flag coated in sugar. However, a counter-point to this is Keth Carradine’s rendition of the Oscar and Grammy-winning hit, I’m Easy. Altman uses the song as a way of showing how several characters see their relationship with Carradine’s character – even though the reality of this is very different. It’s a commentary of the artist and the art.