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Director Altman Satisfied With Rep

June 18, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Robert Altman isn’t known for blockbusters but the 75-year-old director of such freewheeling epics as ``Nashville,″ ``MASH″ and ``The Player″ said that reputation suits him fine.

``There isn’t any filmmaker who ever lived who has had a better shake than I did,″ Altman said. ``I have never been without a project of my own. I have never been out of work, and the only thing I haven’t made are these big, popular films. I have never wanted to and I never will.″

On Thursday, ``Nashville″ kicks off an 18-film retrospective of Altman’s films sponsored by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Most major studios would balk at making 1970′s ``MASH″ or 1975′s ``Nashville″ today, he said, because of the films’ sprawling narratives, huge casts and satiric treatment of human tragedy.

Altman says Hollywood is now more interested in ``toy films″ than adult-oriented fare.

``They are appealing to the 13-year-olds straight across. And they don’t even do them well. There is no reason why this recent Tom Cruise film, ‘Mission: Impossible 2,’ can’t be good as well as have all the action they need,″ Altman said. ``They are making stuff that won’t endure.″

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