Date: 21 Aug 2003


Re your questions below:

> 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 it.

For crying out loud, Mark! You know what "faithful" means. It means fidelity to the source material. It DOESN'T mean strictly following the plot. It DOES mean attempting to convey, within the framework of a different medium, the same reaction in the audience that the source material did from ITS audience.
> 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.

I never saw the Mitchum remake of THE BIG SLEEP. But, as for TLG, there was no reason for Altman & Co. to
"examine" how new ways fit into old times. As I said earlier, it was a movie, not a thesis. Their job was to tell the story, not examine whether or not the story was worth telling. If they thought the story wasn't worth telling they shouldn't have told it. If they thought the character wasn't worth spending time with, they shouldn't have spent time with him. And they certainly shouldn't have tried to change him into something he wasn't just to make his "loser" status more evident to the audience.
> 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?

My objection was to the movie as a Chandler adaptation, but aside from that, I found it pointless, long, and boring. Simply removing Chandler from the equation wouldn't have made me like it better.

CHINATOWN wasn't a deconstruction; it was a straightforward PI movie.

If a parody makes me laugh, I like it. If it doesn't, I don't.
> What do you think of McCabe and Mrs. Miller?

I despise it to the length, and depth, and breadth, and marrow of my soul.

> Never
> having read the
> novel, I can't say whether or not it is "faithful,"
> but it certainly
> deconstructs the genre.

Which is why I despise it to the length, and depth, and breadth, and marrow of my soul.

> But is it contemptuous of
> the western?


> Not Altman, but is Cat Ballou? The Lee Marvin
> certainly makes the
> gunfighter figure look ridiculous, more ridiculous
> than Gould renders a
> PI.

Mark, CAT BALLOU is a comedy. In comedies, the characters are SUPPOSED to look ridiculous. That's how they elicit laughs from the audience.

TLG wasn't a comedy. It made Marlowe (and by extension, all PI characters) look ridiculous within the framework of a serious drama. That's something else altogether.


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