From Susan Thea Posnock at Oscarwatch:
When I met and interviewed Robert Altman just a few weeks ago for OscarWatch I didn't see a man who, like a character from his swansong A Prairie Home Companion, was about to get a visit from the angel of death. Instead I saw a vibrant, quick-witted, slightly cranky film genius.
At 81, there was no denying he still had it. In the last five years of his life he brought one great film, Gosford Park and two good ones, The Company and the aforementioned Prairie to the screen. He was right when he guaranteed me that he would never win an Oscar in competition, but it wasn't for lack of quality. He just ran out of time.
And so the film world is a little less colorful today. A renegade and auteur, who had lived half his life by the time he became known as such, will no longer grace the world of cinema with his presence.
I was truly stunned when I heard the news of his death, even as I now recall how it took him a little bit longer to reach the stage at the Museum of Television & Radio event on Oct. 31. In fact, rather than just climbing directly onto the platform, he made his way to the stairs at the end, momentarily standing in front of the podium.
"I didn't come all the way to the microphone to say anything, I needed the stairs," he quipped to the audience, turning applause into laughter.
My interview with him that night felt too short and I was nervous and rushed. But now, I just feel honored to have had the opportunity. I think about a comment he made in those fleeting moments.
"Everything, including this interview is history. Or half of it is because we've already done half of it. But I don't think about those things," he told me.
And he didn't, he was already on to his next project.
It's sad that there will never be another Robert Altman film. But even if he wasn't one to look back, at least we can.