Re: RARA-AVIS: Re:The Long Goodbye

From: Steve Novak (
Date: 29 Jan 2007

Dear Patrick,

I think you take my comment much too seriously and I thought that my
Œscotch¹ asides were jazzing up the atmosphere...but your e-mail follows two or three others along the same avenues... Fundamentally any adaptation of any book into film has to be looked at as a film and not against some kind of meter on how much it is ³faithfull to the the the the genre...whatever...²...Does it work as a film is the fundamental question and in the case of The Long Goodbye, as a film, and also as a Bob Altman film (sub category here), it works very well for some myself or Etienne B. as he just mentioned in a recent e-mail to us all. I of course concede that it may not ³really captures the essense of Chandler's LA² but is that the question?...and who owns finally ³the essence of Chandler¹s LA²....who owns the SF of my book the ŒHammett¹ of Wim Wenders...who owns the Œessence of London²: the wrestling gym of Night and the City or the West India docks of The Long Good Friday of John McKenzie...???... In the same vein, is Bogart more ŒHammettian¹ than Frederic vote goes for Forrest...and that¹s purely because he sticks closer in my mind to the image I have of the writer of Red Harvest, since that novel is my benchmark on the character...and the writer... Gould is very much Œaway¹ from the accepted perception, granted...but it captivates you and you want to see it several times to get more every time... least I do...
...sorry I don¹t do popcorn...just single malt...or Cahors, Madiran or Iroul駵y...or the occasional gimlet...

Sylvestre (Steve) Novak

On 1/26/07 4:50 PM, "Patrick King" <> wrote: Stve Novak wrote:
> "I¹d be less gentle than Jim B...Jim D. you need to
> watch it, and watch it
> again, and again...and maybe in between repeated
> viewings you need some
> Glenfiddish or Lagavulin... or somethin¹...because the
> film is excellent!"
> Frankly, Steve, if one has to watch it over and over
> and alter one's consciousness too, in order to
> appreciate it, how good can it be? I find Altman's The
> Long Goodbye a dull, half hearted attempt made
> primarily to help Elliott Gould change his image. Even
> in this, the film is a failure. The only film that
> really captures the essense of Chandler's LA is
> Bogart's The Big Sleep, and even this was ruined by
> the Hayze Office and their censorship policies. These
> stories can all be remade with fidelity to the plot
> and the era to great advantage. Anything less will be
> the usual Hollywood 'rush with the flush,' and others
> will be having this same discussion 20 years from now
> about how good the originals are and how stupid
> producers are to screw with their basic elements.
> Patrick King

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