A week or so ago, one of A’s weekend questions was about favorite movies. Among my suggestions was Robert Altman’sNashville, which I think is a must for any political movie buff. The film has a huge cast of characters, their stories intertwining around a series of shared events. Central to the film is the presidential primary campaign of the always-unseen candidate Hal Phillip Walker.
Hal Phillip Walker spouts populist
platitudes—he wants to get lawyers out of government and change the
national anthem to a tune that everyone can sing. Altman suggests that
“It Don’t Worry Me” may be that song.
final song crystallizes what is for me the central dilemma in NASHVILLE. The songs in NASHVILLE may be parodies but they are catchy
as hell. Altman seems to be aware of the fact that every audience will
interpret his film from its own political point of view. “It Don’t
Worry Me” continues as the images end, as if Altman wanted the audience
to walk out of the theater humming the song. The audience becomes part
of the crowd at the Parthenon and, depending on how we have perceived
the film, we are either indicted or implicated in its world view.
—Jane Feuer, Jumpcut