In the midst of a book review, information emerges on how film director Robert Altman balanced his personal and professional lives:
Less favorable are the contributions of his children, made all the more damning by their evident desire to say something nice. In a chapter titled "Fatherhood I," Stephen Altman gives a chilling account of what it was like to be the son of the man many considered America's greatest living director: "At one point, I think I was around ten . . . he had everybody sit down in his Malibu mansion . . . and told us that if it ever came down to it and he had to choose between all of us and his work, he'd dump us in a second." Stephen then tries to qualify this, inadvertently providing the coup de grâce: "I don't know, maybe it was alcohol that made him say it. It's hard when you're young to know when people are drunk and belligerent and surly or hungover."