My favorite movie ever. I’ve probably seen it 15 times, and I’m not someone who watches many movies more than once. Lemme see if I can come up with the main couple of reasons for my fannishness … Hmm. I guess I love its combo of moodiness, poetry, humor, wistfulness and absurdity. It’s off-handed (“glancing” is a word people use a lot vis a vis Altman), yet it has emotional bite. It’s also rich with all kinds of observation, behavior, faces, body types, eccentricity and personality. It’s an interesting case — Altman went into it assuming he’d be making a kind of satirical deconstruction of a western, then somehow stumbled into more emotional engagement with the material (and maybe the actors) than he anticipated, so it wound up being a kind of melancholy satire, which is something I’m pretty charmed by. Not to worry if it doesn’t work for you — despite its rep, it’s never been popular except among a certain segment of filmgeeks. (When it came out it was a major flop — not even many critics liked it.) I also wonder how much of a spell it casts when it’s seen by someone for the first time on video. It’s all about its spell, and it may be a movie that really needs a big, beautiful movie screen in order to work its full magic.