Re: RARA-AVIS: Moral or Immoral?

From: Terrill Lankford (
Date: 25 Feb 2007

-----Original Message-----
>From: Channing <>
>Sent: Feb 24, 2007 10:41 PM
>Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Moral or Immoral?
>Except that Doug didn't "trash" Altman and TLG.
>He suggested that the movie was a revisionist take on the book.

How could he possibly know this without viewing it? Hearsay?

>Which it is.

Perhaps. But the degree of revisionism involved is up for - apparently endless - debate. Some people think it was more of an update than a revisionist take. (Some of them are even the critics you seem to respect.)

>> I don't like Altman and have
>> >never seen the movie, but I understand it to be a
>> >revisionist take on the Chandler character, no?
>Then Doug attacks REVISIONISM and only by inference Altman or the movie--

I'd say his "inference" is pretty clear. If you go out of your way to say something is revisionist, then you attack revisionism, aren't you attacking the original subject? Wasn't that the point of the post?

>> >Revisionism is a lazy man's crutch for insight:
>> >pointing out that Marlowe, or characters like him, are
>> >romantic idealized figures that could never exist in a
>> >"heroic way", anyway, in reality seems to me, again,
>> >to miss the point.
>> >
>> >doug
>Whoa! He really trashed Altman there. (NOTE THE SERIOUS SARCASM)
>Altman might have missed the point. Ouch

Who's point are you talking about? Chandler's? His fans? Are you actually saying Altman is too stupid to understand Chandler? He actually missed some point somewhere? What is this "point"? To take this last paragraph of Doug's and somehow imply that this is a fair critique of a movie Doug hasn't seen is a bit bizarre on your part, Channing. And if you are saying that that paragraph does represent what Altman's "point" was in the first place, that is a very thin and - imo - erroneous take on that film.

>I've never seen SAW III but I can suggest that it's
>a horrible movie based on the majority of film critics
>across America who've said so. Paid professionals who have
>watched a lot of movies.

I do not believe you said this. Clearly, I am completely drunk now.

 I don't need to have seen every
>single movie or read every single book to comment on it.
>That's futile.

No. That's reasonable. But if you feel comfortable criticizing things you have no personal experience with, it's okay with me.

I certainly see no need to view SAW III either, but I can't honestly offer an opinion on it other than, "that's not something I want to see." And I base that on previews of the film. That's not a movie I'd go to the critics for a call on.

 "I'm sorry I can't continue this argument
>because I haven't read X book. Give me two weeks and I'll
>get back to this discussion."

Why do you feel your opinion would be vital to a conversation if you had no personal experience with the subject at hand?

>Oh, and I will go on record as saying that Altman missed
>the point on The Long Goodbye. Ooh, scandalous. He also missed the
>point on Popeye, OC and Stiggs, Dr. T and His Women,
>Cookie's Fortune and even, gasp, Gosford Park, where he
>made a whodunnit where the murder victim isn't even killed
>until halfway into the movie and the mystery is unsolveable
>by the viewer. I don't care how many awards that won, it's
>a bad movie. I've SEEN all those movies, by the way.

I could just as easily suggest that you missed the point on a few of them. Is that possible? (I'm certain you missed the point on Gosford Park based on your breakdown of the movie.)

But if there WAS a point to O.C. and Stiggs, can you please explain it to me? (Even if Altman missed it.)


P.S. - I'm curious about something, Channing. You seem to have seen a lot of Altman's films, even some more obscure ones. Are there some of his other movies you like, or are you just a glutton for punishment? Even I haven't sat all the way through Cookie's Fortune.

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