University Library pres.
Altmannerisms: "Secret Honor" & "Tanner '88: The Dark Horse"
Secret Honor: In this one-man drama by Altman, we see former President Richard Nixon dictating his thoughts into a tape recorder. He’s alone, except for a closed-circuit TV setup, a bottle of Chivas Regal, and a loaded pistol. At times addressing an imaginary judge in a court of public opinion, at other times speaking to an aide named Roberto, and sometimes just talking to himself, the former chief executive reflects, in a series of meandering monologues, on his humble Quaker upbringing, his school days, his family, and a political career that reached all the way to the White House. Nixon rails at his treatment by the likes of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Kennedys, J. Edgar Hoover, Henry Kissinger, Jews, liberals, and the media, as he leads up to the “true” reasons for the Watergate scandal that resulted in his resignation – an act he regards as one of “secret honor.” 1984. 90 min. Not rated.
Tanner ’88 (pilot episode): This political mockumentary miniseries was written by Garry Trudeau and directed by Altman. First broadcast by HBO during the months leading up to the 1988 U.S. presidential election, it goes behind the scenes of former Michigan U.S. representative Jack Tanner’s bid to secure the Democratic party’s nomination for President of the United States. The story is told from a number of different points of view, including Tanner, his campaign staff, the small army of news reporters that constantly follow the candidate, and volunteers. Many political figures of the time appear (some in cameos, some extended), including Bruce Babbitt, Bob Dole, Kitty Dukakis, Gary Hart, Jesse Jackson, and Pat Robertson. In this pilot episode, Tanner and his daughter visit with potential voters on the weekend before the New Hampshire primary, while his first campaign commercial is evaluated by a focus group. 1988. 60 min. Not rated.
This screening is one part of a series of Altmannerisms: Conversations Celebrating the Opening of the Robert Altman Archive. We invite you to take part in any or all of the events.
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