Nashville

Nashville

the morning after watching 'nashville' i'm stuck with altman's wide shot of a rapt audience at a glitzy country music venue. the audience is almost entirely white and the performers are either the same, or black. the country stars croon diaristic missives of moral reckoning, emotional resilience—the lyrics evoke the gut-punch, metaphor-free confessionals of today's gen-z pop scions: olivia rodrigo, billie eilish—heiresses to taylor swfit, born in nashville. the audience sits quietly, completely still; altman lingers on its motionlessness before it erupts, over and over, into frenzied applause. the stillness is what sticks; a room full of (white) americans open wide: eager and grateful for the transference made possible only through pop tied up with a regional bow. this audience does not dance or bop or sing along; it listens. this audience shuts up and takes it. it accepts someone's—anyone's—story as its own, so long as the story is well-told by a credible hero

'nashville' is one of the most incisive films about "America" i have ever seen. i giggled a lot while watching it; i yelled "cinema!" and "me!" and "us!" it delighted and discomfited me. i will watch 'nashvile' again, and again

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