Tag Archives: Karen Black

The Set of 400: #8 – My Favorite School Bus Graveyard

Today! Because there’s gonna be nothing left in our graves except Clorox bottles and plastic fly swatters with red dots on ’em –

 

Nashville (1975)

Directed by Robert Altman (x5)

Starring Lily Tomlin (x3), Ned Beatty (x6), Michael Murphy (x7), Henry Gibson (x6), Keenan Wynn, Barbara Harris (x2), Shelley Duvall (x5), Keith Carradine, Ronee Blakley, Geraldine Chaplin (x2), Scott Glenn (x4), Jeff Goldblum (x7), Gwen Welles, Karen Black (x3), David Arkin (x3), Allan F. Nichols (x3), Cristina Raines, Bert Remsen (x4), Allen Garfield (x2), Robert DoQui, Barbara Baxley, Timothy Brown (x2), David Hayward, Dave Peel, Merle Kilgore, Elliott Gould (x4), Julie Christie

The last movie appearing on this list that isn’t my favorite of that given year (tune back in tomorrow for Fav ’75!), Nashville is something that has taken the better part of two decades to grow on me. The first time I saw any bit of it was in college – I was taking some half-assed screenwriting course at Keystone, and they would show illustrative clips along with the written pages, and the scene we watched was Sueleen Gay’s disastrous appearance singing at the gentleman’s club. While it might not make a ton of sense in a screenwriting class on the surface, figure, like most Altmans of the time the movie is improv heavy, so Joan Tewkesbury’s script was more filled with character beats and guideposts than concrete dialogue and heavily plotted scenes. Sueleen’s public singing debut, however, is relatively light on dialogue and heavy on doom, so it’s actually not a bad moment to highlight!

“I Never Get Enough”

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The Set of 400: #280 – My Favorite Shadow Horn

Today! Because I will not submit –

Rhinoceros (1974)

Directed by Tom O’Horgan

Starring Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder (x2), Karen Black, Joe Silver, Robert Weil, Marilyn Chris, Percy Rodrigues, Don Calfa (x2), Anne Ramsey

Just barely reaching our minimum requirements for inclusion on this list, Rhinoceros has virtually never been shown in a movie theater. It was produced as part of a brief early ’70s experiment called the American Film Theatre, wherein popular stage plays were adapted to film and had limited engagements at select theaters. It really was an idea ahead of its time, as Fathom Events does similar releases nowadays with operas and British theater offerings, but in ’74 it wasn’t exactly a monster hit concept.

Some of these productions have found minor success on home video, particularly Lee Marvin’s Iceman Cometh, and this ingenious re-teaming of 1968’s The Producers, with Zero recreating his Tony winning turn as Jean/John from the 1961 staging of the Ionesco play, and Wilder in the less flashy Stanley/Berenger role. It’s not a movie or play for everyone, with its wildly absurdist plot and heavy, talky scenes, but the novelty of there existing a Rhinoceros movie has always outweighed the inherent stagey-ness of the film for me.

Plus, Dick Nixon cameos!

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