Lori Singer, who plays the beautiful basketball playing cellist in Short Cuts, is only one of two Oregon connections to that film. Singer grew up in Portland from 1962 -1972, the decade her father, Jacques Singer, spent conducting the Portland Symphony Orchestra.
But the real Oregon connection between our tree and salmon studded paradise and the freeway choked urban nightmare of Short Cuts is the fact that Robert Altman and Frank Barhydt based their screenplay on nine short stories by Raymond Carver, who was born in Clatskanie, Oregon in 1938.
For Carver fans, here are the titles of those nine stories:
- “They’re Not Your Husband”
- “Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?”
- “So Much Water So Close to Home”
- “A Small, Good Thing”
- “Jerry and Molly and Sam”
- “Tell the Women We’re Going
I am not the only person to take issue with Altman’s decision to transfer Carver’s blue collar universe from the Pacific Northwest to Southern California. Jon Jost was devastated when Altman made this film, and has refused to see it. He had planned to adapt Carver’s work to the big screen himself – although ( I am guessing here) Jost would have kept his version in Oregon.
I dislike Short Cuts. That has not prevented it from winning all sorts of acclaim, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
I hereby claim Short Cuts as an Oregon film, on the basis of the contribution made by Oregon born writer Raymond Carver.