"I Need You to Fill It Out": Robert Altman's Raymond Carver

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Michael Curtis Houck (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site: http://www.uncp.edu/academics/library
Monika Brown

Abstract: In 1993, Robert Altman released "Short Cuts", a three-hour film adaptation of 9 short stories and 1 poem from Raymond Carver. The film's experimental composition presents a challenge for analysis as a film adaptation. This essay shows that through lenses of intertextuality and paratextuality, in combination with concepts taken from auteur studies, and characteristics of ensemble and mosaic filsm, it becomes apparent that Altman's film can be read not only as critical interpretation and synthesis of Carver's original texts, but also as an expansion of Altman's own creative history. Within this essay, analysis on Altman's auteur characteristics and how they were used to explore Carver's previously established themes will show that "Short Cuts" stands as more than a transfer of the stories from the page to the screen, casting away concepts of fidelity. In conclusion of an analysis of "Short Cuts", the elements of the film not only help to expand Altman's specific vision of the human condition, but are also part of a critical interpretation that analyzes and allows the audience to see and opposite side of the commonly inferred claims in Carver's texts.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
Robert Altman, Raymond Carver, Short Cuts, Short Stories, Film Adaptation, Mosaic Films, Intertextuality, Paratextuality, Interpretations

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