The Long Goodbye
“Altman’s America: A Thirtieth Anniversary Retrospective” which ran for 5 weekends in July 2000 was one of the first such tributes to this modern master who participated in an onstage discussion following a screening of The Player which, like In a Lonely Place, features studio types caught up in a murder. More LA-centric than Hollywood self-centered is this Altman adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s famous novel featuring the laconic, hard-bitten gumshoe Philip Marlowe. Transposed from a nocturnal 1940s setting to a sun scorched 1970s milieu populated by assorted low lifes, pot heads, topless blondes and Tinseltown hustlers, The Long Goodbye trades in the terse idealism of Bogart’s Marlowe for Elliot Gould’s garrulous, mocking take on the contemporary hero, a disheveled and distracted loner who seems more interested in looking for his missing cat than solving the crime. Moral rot is pervasive, punctuated by bursts of gratuitous violence, both beautifully evoked by the off-kilter widescreen compositions of Vilmos Zsigmond, the gifted cinematographer who virtually created the "look" of the New American Cinema. “The faith in friendship, the respective for human life are clearly anachronistic in the context of Malibu’s fast cars, corrupt cops and quick divorces; and in the end, the seventies Marlowe can only preserve his old-style idealism by meting out a Mosaic justice of his own….The lyricism, the violence and the humor merge in a pure style which, although it may not be Chandler’s, Altman has made unmistakably his own.”—Jan Dawson, The Monthly Film Bulletin.
Bing Theater | Included in double-bill, $5 admission for this film only | Tickets: 323 857-6010 or purchase online.