9 Great Movies to Stream This Holiday Weekend

Altman

Robert Altman gave us one of the most diverse and fascinating filmographies in all of cinema — he flipped genre on its head, rewrote the rules for cinematography and dialogue recording, and crafted a distinctively shambling and shaggy storytelling style, all the while refracting his narratives through a timely and often cynical prism of the contemporary American experience. Ron Mann’s documentary portrait Altman is, as such career profiles often are, frustratingly brief and occasionally shallow — McCabe and Mrs. Miller gets particularly short shrift — but Mann displays a firm understanding of what made Altman such a special filmmaker, as well as seizing on the proper dramatic elements of his own story. And the archival materials are astonishing: home movies, behind-the-scene footage from most of his films, unreleased shorts, and even location scouting shots from Hands on a Hard Body, the film he was working on when he died. Produced by the cable channel Epix, which is carving out a nice little niche for itself with these filmmaker-based documentaries (last year’s Milius was also very good), Altman achieves the tricky feat of explaining to novices what made the great man so special, while presenting copious surprises and treats for his super-fans. (via Netflix)