Kansas City

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Interview with Robert Altman, by Henri Béhar
Interview with Robert Altman, by Karen Jaehne
Interview with Harry Belafonte, by Henri Béhar

Review, by Karen Jaehne

"Caught In The Web" Inter(net)views, QuickTime:
"Kansas City" with Robert Altman (0.5mb)
"Assembling a Band" with Robert Altman (1.8mb)
"Casting" with Robert Altman (1.3mb)
"It's Fun" with Jennifer Jason Leigh (1.2mb)

Official Site

It's Kansas City, 1934, the eve of one of "Boss" Tom Pendergast's violent elections; the city is wide-open in the midst of the Depresslon, reverberating to the energy of non-stop jazz. Blondie O'Hara, a young telegraph operator, concocts a desperate plan to kidnap Carolyn Stilton, the socialite wife of an advisor to President Franklin Roosevelt. Her goal is to exchange Mrs Stilton for her petty thief of a husband, who has been caught by the legendary gangster Seldon Seen, after a botched heist. Surrounded by moral turbulence, the two women forge a relationship that changes from abductor and captive to near-trusting friends as they head towards an inevitable transforming conclusion.

"The whole structure of this film relates to jazz. If you look at the actual story, which has one of my strongest narratives... the trade-off of one abduction for another... it becomes less about plot than about these two women travelling around together against a swirl of corruption. The story then becomes what they talk about, where they go, who they run into. These are their solos. Belafonte's' monologues about race and violence function in a similar way. They're all jazz riffs to me. By the time I was 15, I was going to these black jazz clubs, I knew a lot of these people and I was welcomed there. I spent a lot of time in that music and culture. I'm sure my view of it today is quite romanticized. But again, my whole idea for 'Kansas City' is like a piece of music, a jazz memory." - Robert Altman

Directed by: Robert Altman
Written by: Robert Altman, Frank Barhydt
Starring: Harry Belafonte, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steve Buscemi, Miranda Richardson, Dermot Mulroney, Jane Adams, Michael Murphy, Brooke Smith
Produced by: Robert Altman, Matthew Seig

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