Jim D wrote:
"I said adaptation, by definition, constrains the artist to
produce something that is faithful to the source material,
and since TLG was the original object of discussion, and
since Mark explicitly said (and Chris by inference agreed)
that TLG was NOT faithful, I went on to say that Altman, by
failing to meet the minimal obligation of being faithful to
the source material, was violating that (to me) quite obvious
ethical standard. If I was forceful, it was because neither
Chris nor Mark seemed to think there was anything wrong with
being unfaithful to the source material."
Define faithful. Is it an aspect of plot? If so, Long Goodbye
is pretty faithful, except for the final scene. Is it an
aspect of character? If so, Long Goodbye is not at all
faithful. The latter is how I was using the term. And that
was why I was so offended by the movie when I first saw
However, even you used the term "deconstruct," which is most
certainly what Brackett and Altman were doing. They were
examining how the old ways fit into the new times. And
frankly, I think it works a lot better than the ridiculous
Mitchum Big Sleep set in swinging London.
Would you feel the same way about this movie if it had a
different title and Marlowe had a different name? Is your
objection to the movie as Chandler adatation or to the movie
per se? How do you feel about other deconstructions, like
Chinatown, for instance? And what about parodies?
What do you think of McCabe and Mrs. Miller? Never having
read the novel, I can't say whether or not it is "faithful,"
but it certainly deconstructs the genre. But is it
contemptuous of the western? Not Altman, but is Cat Ballou?
The Lee Marvin character certainly makes the gunfighter
figure look ridiculous, more ridiculous than Gould renders a
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