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Robert Bernard Altman (; February 20, 1925 – November 20, 2006) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Altman is known as five-time nominee of the Academy Award for Best Director and an enduring figure from the New Hollywood era with such directors as Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Sidney Lumet, and David Lynch. Altman was considered a "maverick" in making films with a highly naturalistic but stylized and satirical aesthetic, unlike most Hollywood films. He is consistently ranked as one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers in American cinema. His style of filmmaking covered many genres, but usually with a "subversive" twist which typically relied on satire and humor to express his personal views. Altman developed a reputation for being "anti-Hollywood" and non-conformist in both his themes and directing style. However, actors especially enjoyed working under his direction because he encouraged them to improvise, thereby inspiring their own creativity. He preferred large ensemble casts for his films, and developed a multitrack recording technique which produced overlapping dialogue from multiple actors. This produced a more natural, more dynamic, and more complex experience for the viewer. He also used highly mobile camera work and zoom lenses to enhance the activity taking place on the screen. Critic Pauline Kael, writing about his directing style, said that Altman could "make film fireworks out of next to nothing." Altman's most famous directorial achievements include, M*A*S*H* (1970), McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), The Long Goodbye (1973), Nashville (1975), 3 Women (1977), Secret Honor (1984), The Player (1992), Short Cuts (1993), and Gosford Park (2001).

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