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M*A*S*H and Reflexivity

by Clifford Galiher

As he would again with his 1975 film Nashville, which employs a similar technique in the opening credits sequence, Robert Altman's M*A*S*H (or MASH) uses an announcer to recite the names of the film's cast. Here, though, he takes the technique further, bringing an unseen character out of the story to comment on the fictitious nature of the events we've just seen. How does this affect our investment in the narrative we have just seen?

M*A*S*H (a.k.a. MASH, 1970) Closing Credits

Robert Altman's 1970 film M*A*S*H breaks the fourth wall in its final minutes, having the camp's radio announcer break character to acknowledge the story in which all of the characters (and actors) have taken part.

from M*A*S*H (1970)
Creator: Robert Altman
Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Video
Posted by Clifford Galiher