I’ve been expecting to hear about bicoastal memorial tributes to Robert Altman, who passed just before Thanksgiving. Having attended DGA-sponsored tributes for Hal Ashby and Stanley Kubrick some two or three weeks after their deaths, I was presuming it would happen sometime this month.
But Altman’s widow Kathryn Reed is calling the shots, and her husband’s sudden departure (Picturehouse chief Bob Berney, the distributor of Altman’s final film A Prairie Home Companion, told me last night that he and wife Jeanne Berney were partying with Altman into the wee hours only a few days before his final visit to the hospital) has left her in a shattered state and unable(or simply disinclined) to immediately jump right into the organizing of two big farewell events.
There’s a notion afloat that staging the Altman memorials in early January, say, might conceivably nudge DGA or Academy voters into offering the Prairie Home Companion helmer a tribute nomination for Best Director, as a kind of official acknowledgment of his historical greatness and profound influence. But the word is that the N.Y. and L.A. tributes won’t be happening until late February.