Close Up

7 - 22 January 2017: M*A*S*H



Robert Altman
1970 | 116 min | Colour | DCP

"M*A*S*H remains a landmark of Hollywood's attempt to reach out to the counterculture, a gesture that helped make the film so financially successful that Altman was able to get funding from one studio or another for the rest of the 1970s. The tale of US Army medics near the front lines during the Korean War eschewed the action of the battlefield for the black-and-blue humor of the medical corps assigned to try to patch up those casualties still alive. With its large cast and loose, episodic structure, the screenplay – by formerly blacklisted writer Ring Lardner, Jr. – was rejected by most of the important directors of the time before it was offered to Altman. Of course, both of these aspects were precisely what drew Altman to the script, which gave him a forum to express his own anti-establishment and anti-war views in a manner both indirect and savage." – Harvard Film Archive

Part of our Robert Altman season