I am reading “Altman” a truly wonderful oral biography of Robert Altman by Mitchell Zuckoff.   It quotes from the “Player”:

- It lacked certain elements that we need to market a film successfully.
- What elements?
- Suspense, laughter, violence.  Hope, heart, nudity, sex.  Happy endings.  Mainly happy endings. -
- What about reality?

The struggle to question the recognizable and safe narrative elements (which are not necessarily cliches) is at the heart of any honest attempt to make one step closer to something as elusive as reality.  

And what is “reality”?

A maverick storyteller faces a tremendously impossible task: to come up with new tools to describe something that has not even been properly defined.   All the “aristotelian” tools, all subtle or not so subtle tricks and conventions of sustaining the audience’s attention crumble when the “what about reality” question releases its inconvenient roar.  

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