Re: RARA-AVIS: Re:A Whiff of Sulphur...

From: Mark R. Harris (
Date: 03 Dec 2007

Well, so, OK, does this mean that if someone (well, say, me) esteems Altman as the greatest American film director, and finds certain comments and lines of analysis "offensive" in their approach to Altman, that I would be justified in consigning that offender to the pits of Hades? This sort of argument can cut both ways, you know.

Besides, if Chandler is that great himself (no argument from me there), then certainly he should be able to withstand any kind of insult. Consider the sins (if they be sins) that have been committed against Shakespeare in the name of adaptation and updating. A purist could have issued a fatwa against Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, and Jerome Robbins for the "sacrilege" against "Romeo and Juliet" that is "West Side Story." But Shakespeare seems to have survived just fine (and so, for that matter, has the brilliant "West Side Story").

It could be that Altman's apparent disrespect for Chandler is actually a mark of the highest respect -- a riff on a the work of a fellow master. That's certainly what I think.

Cheekily, Mark Harris

On 12/3/07, JIM DOHERTY <> wrote:
> Kevin,
> Re your comment below:
> "But I'm not sure, with all the likely candidates out
> there in crime fiction, that Altman's the best
> candidate for a quick trip south. All he did was make
> a movie Jim didn't like."
> It was more than just my disliking it. I found it
> offensive in its approach to Chandler.
> Anyway, what makes you think that making a movie I
> don't like isn't enough? Are you forgetting that I'm
> more infallible than the Pope?
> __________________________________________________________
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Mark R. Harris
2122 W. Russet Court #8
Appleton WI 54914
(920) 470-9855

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