Capital Celluloid 2021 — Day 36: Mon Jun 21

Streamers (Altman, 1983): BFI Southbank, NFT3, 8.40pm

This 35mm presentation is part of the Robert Altman season at BFI Southbank.

Time Out review:
Another of Robert Altman's gripping demonstrations of how to transform theatre by means of composition and close-up. As in Come Back to the 5 & Dime, he restricts his material to a single set, this time an army barracks dormitory, where a group of young US recruits live, laugh and lay into each other while waiting to be sent off to action in Vietnam. Sex, class, race and war are the main topics under discussion, brought to boiling point by the arrival of the ranting Carlyle (Michael Wright), an argumentative black whose abrupt changes in articulacy and temper reveal a madman's insights into reality. Confusion and confinement are the keynotes here: freedom of thought and action has been removed from these boys, with the result that finally they turn with inexorable anguish upon one another. Altman's direction keeps the atmosphere admirably taut and claustrophobic, while allowing the cast plenty of opportunity to excel with spontaneous, vivid performances, subtly explored by a hesitantly prowling camera.

Here (and above) is the trailer.

No comments: