America. Who Needs It?

For some of us who grew up listening to Alistair Cooke, Armed Forces Radio and latterly, Garrison Keillor, describing the arcanedia of small town America, we never really needed to go there. To do so would flirt with disappointment and disillusion. I went there a couple of times, and quite nice it was, but it never quite matched up to my mental map as related via the mellifluous tomes of Cooke and Keillor. I re-engaged with that memory when I stumbled across A Prairie Home Companion , un film de Robert Altman, based upon the long-running radio show of the same name hosted by GK, in the ensemble style that Altman has made his own. A minor-stellar cast, (Kline, Tomlin, Harrelson, T-L SmithJones) wandering through whimsy, and a shading of schmaltz.

~ by @mmonyte on March 8, 2009.

3 Responses to “America. Who Needs It?”

  1. It’s a fictional film Altman built on the framework of the show Keillor does. I heard some longtime PHC fans complain about that — but that’s what Altman did, maybe better than anyone else before or after.

    It’s not much about small towns though, is it?

    • Hello Ed, Welcome to my blog. I took the cast of the show to represent the small town, menaced by big city/corporate America as represented by The Axeman. A charming whimsical film. I like whimsy (as apposed to schmaltz).

  2. The mythical America: I have never found it, either. Not quite 18 months ago a friend and coworker visited the UK on business, and was quite excited until she realized that she was staying in a vanilla apartment in a bland complex in a character-free suburb.

    I suppose the real never lives up to the ideal.

    That’s why we should all create our own virtual worlds where we are never disappointed. 😉

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