By Kristen Bialik
Movie - Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975)
Nashville Tennessee has earned a star on the map for many things: state capital, “Music City,” “Athens of the South,” and for Robert Altman fans, the site of the 1975 classic Nashville. Befitting a place known for twangy tunes and an imitation Parthenon, Altman’s two and half hour long tragi-comic epic follows 24 protagonists’ lives as they’re interlaced in the Nashville music industry and political scene. The stories are snapshots over a 5-day weekend ending in political rally for an outside (and unseen) presidential candidate running on the Replacement Party ticket. At the same time, most characters are all reaching for some level of fame or success in what’s portrayed as a microcosm of the United States, and one that is personally shallow, politically empty, and commercially tapped-out.
Though many fans and critics believe Nashville to be one of Altman’s greatest films, actual Nashvillians and country music die-hards looking for an extended tribute were more than a little disappointed. Both camps took the film pretty hard, seeing Altman’s signature cynicism as unduly harsh and patronizing. The