Orson Welles is characterized as a restless innovator and experimenter. Even if the only film he had ever made had been his debut feature, 1941′s Citizen Kane, Welles would likely still be remembered for his ground-breaking use of depth of field and deep focus; long, fluid takes incorporating complex camera movement; a non-linear narrative structure; and many other advances in film, too numerous too list. Few other filmmakers have displayed such a distinctive voice and style throughout their careers, but Welles belongs on a short list of auteurs whose films could only have been made by the one person whose name appears in the credits as director.
Robert Altman is another such auteur, and his films are all similarly unified by a unique directorial vision. Altman is a director who spawned his own adjective – “Altmanesque” – much like films made in the style of Orson Welles can be called “Wellesian.” An Altman film is instantly recognizable as such for its large cast of characters; long takes and moving cameras; complex multi-layer sound track; and multiple storylines coinciding in a way that defies typical narrative structure, among other more intangible traits. Read the rest of this entry »