Monday, March 15, 2010

The Altman Tournament of Champions

Welcome to March, where the madness just keeps getting maddener!

I'm pleased to announce, apropos of nothing, the first (and probably last) Robert Altman Tournament of Champions! Stay pinned to your seat as 32 -- count 'em -- 32 Altman films go head to head in single-elimination, overlapping dialoguey, dolly-and-zoom action. Cheer your favorites on until only the strongest, savviest, and most bitterly cynical survives.

Click on the above brackets for a close-up of the pairings, print them out and give your best guesses a whirl. (Seedings, alas, were not without controversy, especially from a small yet vocal Schickelian faction who wanted all of Altman's movies replaced with Eastwood's.)

Results in a few days, weeks, whenever....

14 comments:

Kevin J. Olson said...

This is beyond awesome. How do I play along? Do I get to submit my bracket? Great idea, Craig. Even if this is a joke I'll still do it! Hehe.

Craig said...

It was originally a joke, but what the hell. Anyone who wants to submit a bracket, feel free!

Jason Bellamy said...

This is genius. And A Prairie Home Companion looks mighty dangerous to me as a 9 seed. Upset city, baby!

Craig said...

In case Ed Howard or anyone else is wondering, Buffalo Bill and the Indians was unfortunately disqualified from tournament play due to undisclosed "infractions."

Edward Copeland said...

Of course, I'd quibble about some of the seeding, but it is difficult to get to a number you can do a bracket with without leaving some out. (Though I'd jettison Beyond Therapy way before Buffalo Bill.)

Jason Bellamy said...

In case Ed Howard or anyone else is wondering, Buffalo Bill and the Indians was unfortunately disqualified from tournament play due to undisclosed "infractions."

Everybody knows you can't pick up a recruit in a stagecoach anymore.

Craig said...

Edward: The seeding committee had an extremely difficult time with the Altman rankings -- much more so than last year's Terrence Malick Tournament, which actually began with a Final Four. Expect some upsets!

Adam Zanzie said...

Quintet is all the way down at 32? Awwwwww... I must be the only person in the world who loves that movie.

Or, wait, is this only a ranking of the most talky Altman movies to the least talky? If so, then I guess it's no surprise why Quintet is at the bottom, since, yeah... there's not much overlapping dialogue. Unless you count the scene where Paul Newman and Fernando Rey are at the bar and are trying to talk over each other, when they get in the conversation about birds flying north!

Craig said...

Adam,

Seedings were based on a combination of critical reception, Oscar nominations, box-office and staying power. Plus that complex mathematical theorem on the blackboard in A Serious Man.

Quintet had a rough regular season, but did knock off Countdown in a special-elimination round.

Stephen said...

I fancy Popeye to cause an upset or two but,as far as I'm concerned, it's awful hard to look beyond 3 Women for the title.

"...much more so than last year's Terrence Malick Tournament, which actually began with a Final Four. Expect some upsets!"

Haha!

Thank God it's not a Takashi Miike Tournament - 81 films in 19 years!

Edward Copeland said...

Having been in extreme Kurosawa mode for his centennial next week, I wonder how I'd seed all the films I just watched or re-watched.

Craig said...

Stephen -- Wow, that many? I"m embarrassed to say I've never seen a Miike film.

Ed -- I caught a little of High and Low on TCM last night. Wish I'd watched the rest.

JPK said...

I really love this and want to do it myself, but it's going to take some effort. I found a VHS of Brewster McCloud (still not in DVD, evidently) and a DVD of the now out-of-print California Split. The real problem looks like HealtH, which never made it even to VHS.

And in the heat of brackets season, I would love to see them for other filmmakers -- Hawks and Hitchcock are the two I thought of first. Then again, maybe all this excitement will fade in a few weeks like Kansas did yesterday... at any rate, thanks so much for this!

Stephen said...

Craig, I don't think you should be embarrassed.

Some of his films are actually embarrassing (!) and some (Audition and Bird People of China especially) are very good.