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Cinematheque California Split Hero

Film

Presented by the Melbourne Cinémathèque & ACMI

California Split

M

Beautiful Losers: Robert Altman’s Panoramic Cinema

20 Apr

After being wrongfully accused of collusion during a poker game, a friendship develops between a down-on-his-luck gambler Bill (George Segal) and the free-spirited Charlie (Elliott Gould).

With its title referencing poker jargon, Altman fashions one of his most entertaining and compelling films - a landmark in the use of multi-tracked sound - about a pair of parasitical Californian gamblers (played magnificently by Elliott Gould and George Segal) who finally hit a winning streak in Reno.

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  • The crosscutting scenes in the stale, smoke-encrusted, jazz-scored casino brilliantly capture (while also betraying Altman’s own penchant for gambling) the compulsive quality of frenzied, possessed souls down on their luck but hoping for a reprieve.

    This is a rare chance to see the original cut of the film. 35mm print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive, Australia.