2:00, 4:30, 6:50, 9:15 at BAMcinématek [Program & Tix]
Alt Screen contributor Dan Callahan has a career overview of Ashby so wonderful I’m not even going to block-quote from it. Just go and read the whole thing.
Thanks to David Hudson, I see that Good’s Jennifer Wachtell has a Great round-up of directors enthusing over their favorite Ashby films: Alexander Payne on The Landlord, Jason Schwartzman on Harold and Maude, Wes Anderson on The Last Detail, David O. Russell on Shampoo, and Judd Apatow on Being There.
From Wachtell’s intro:
In the 1970s, Hal Ashby made a series of films so brilliant and yet so utterly different from one another that if you didn’t know who the director was, you might not think they were made by the same person…At his best, Ashby was able to make the personal political and the political personal, with humor and without boring the audience.
It is not surprising that Ashby’s films feel relevant at the moment, since our fragmented political climate isn’t that different from the post-Vietnam-and-Watergate years in which they were made. But unlike their latter-day counterparts, Ashby’s movies take on complicated subject matter without being reductive, telling stories through human relationships with no clean resolution. There is more said about American politics in Being There or about the women’s movement in Shampoo than in so many of the films that take on those subject matters directly.