Altman will screen tomorrow evening at TIFF Bell Lightbox to kick off the retrospective series Company Man: The Best Of Robert Altman.

Canadian documentarian Ron Mann’s latest film, Altman, is a generous and reverent portrait of the titular American director Robert Altman, he of fame and renown for an admirably varied career in filmmaking—as well as television and theater—in addition to his influential craft of idiosyncratic techniques (multi-character narratives, overlapping dialogue, acerbic social commentary). His oeuvre spans multiple decades and a wide range of genres, featuring successes, failures, and everything in between. Not surprisingly, Altman is structured around this trajectory—it’s a biography of the director heavily concerned with, and punctuated by, the projects he mired himself in throughout his professional life. Mann takes a traditional approach to his subject, relying primarily on interviews with Altman himself combined with production/behind-the-scenes footage and clips from his films. Family members and colleagues provide intermittent commentary as well, but perhaps Mann’s greatest touch is the inclusion of brief interviews throughout the documentary with numerous actors who all answer the same question: “What is Altmanesque?” Naturally, the responses (which are often a single word or phrase) vary wildly, and this provides an unconventionally personal version of an artistic legacy, one predicated on the multivalent effect Robert Altman had on those he knew and worked with rather than a broad historical and/or cultural canonization.