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Robert Altman Museum of Modern Art retrospective: What to see

Director Robert Altman poses for a portrait during

Director Robert Altman poses for a portrait during the Sarasota Film Festival at the Longboat Key Club And Resort April 8, 2006 in Sarasota, Florida. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Carlo Allegri

The late Robert Altman, one of the all-time filmmaking giants, gets a comprehensive retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art through mid-January.

The Oscar-winning icon behind such classics as the "M*A*S*H" movie, "Nashville" and "The Player" made an art out of overlapping dialogue and ensemble storytelling over the course of his distinguished career.

His movies demand to be seen on the big screen. These are some of the highlights unspooling at MoMA, but you could spend all month there:

"The Player"

Altman's top-notch take on Hollywood corruption stars Tim Robbins as a studio executive swept up in a crime plot. Dec. 6 and 23"McCabe & Mrs. Miller"

This is simply one of the most significant Westerns -- or as Altman described it, an "anti-Western" -- starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie as a con man and a prostitute, respectively, and plenty of genre subversion. Dec. 10 and Jan. 2.

"The Long Goodbye"

Altman adapted Raymond Chandler's classic character Philip Marlowe in a noir starring Elliot Gould and set in 1970s Los Angeles. Dec. 12 and 14


The filmmaker was one of the most apt and intelligent chroniclers of '70s America: his grasp of the grim social undercurrents far exceeded most of his peers. That was never more powerfully displayed than in this ensemble epic about music and politics. The Dec. 19 screening is preceded by a signing of "Altman," the glossy new book about the director co-authored by his wife, Kathryn Reed Altman. Dec. 19 and Jan. 16


Altman was not the most likely director of a big screen musical adaptation of the spinach-guzzling E.C. Segar character starring Robin Williams. The movie's been widely dismissed. But trust us, it's worth reconsidering, if solely for the sheer weirdness on display. Dec. 22 and 26


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