Monday, August 30, 2021

Monday, Monday


I have probably seen THE LONG GOODBYE before now but perhaps not because Phil never could stand Elliott Gould. He thought he was a bad actor and didn't really try to be a good one. I am not sure that is the case, but I found a rewatch of this movie somewhat puzzling. It was beautifully filmed, directed and the theme song, which they played constantly, was haunting. I have now read a few reviews and understand this was meant to be a seventies-style version of the forties novel. And I am going to have to read the novel to see if Marlowe was meant to be so laconic and bumbling. I found the casting of Jim Bouton odd. Well, indeed most of the casting was odd. So I have to assume Altman was saying something with that too. It certainly had one of the most violent scenes I have ever watched. Not sure what to make of it. 

Started a new series KATLA, which I kind of like. Finished up THE CHAIR. Will six half-hour episodes stay with me? I doubt it. Not sure what to make of TED LASSO this year. Is it now going to be tragic? I am fearful. 

Reading Sigrid Numez' book on Susan Sontag and just finished BRING YOUR BAGGAGE (Ellis) which is a delightful collection of essays. 

I found out I had COVID when I was in Florida in March 2020. I was quite sick, but at the time the hospital said it was a flu. It doesn't do me any good now because those antibodies that showed up last summer in blood work would be gone now. So I wait for the booster like all of you.

So what's new with you guys?


Steve A Oerkfitz said...

I really like Altman's The Long Goodbye but it is quite different in tone to the novel. Marlowe is definitely not laconic in the novel. The screenplay was by Leigh Brackett who also wrote (along with William Faulkner) the screenplay for The Big Sleep.
Read Always Crashing In the same Car by Matthew Spektor which I liked a lot. It was mentioned in the interview Megan did with Johnathan Lethem. Also reread The Zebra Striped Hearse by Ross MacDonald. And am bow reading Rovers by Richard Lange.
Caught up on the newest season of Animal Kingdom. Watched Sidney Lumet's Prince of gthe City which finally got released on disc.
Weather continues to be hot and sunny or hot and stormy with high winds.
My oldest daughter tested positive for Covid but she didn't get very sick. I haven't been around her for about 4 weeks so I have no fears. On Tuesday they came and did Covid tests in my apartment building for anybody who wanted them. I tested negative.

Margot Kinberg said...

Thanks for your thoughts on The Long Goodbye, Patti. To me, it's interesting to see how different directors interpret a story for the screen. For me (I'm a purist, and perhaps overly picky about it!), the closer a film stays to the original story, with the original character personalities, etc., the better.

Jeff Meyerson said...

I'm not surprised that Florida gave you misinformation about COVID. I still don't know if I really had it last May when I tested positive, because I never had even the slightest symptoms.

I like Gould in some things, but he is no Philip Marlowe.

Glad you like KATLA. It was quite interesting to me. Even though they did wrap up the various stories, they left it hanging for a second series. We've watched two episodes of THE CHAIR so far. It;s slight but enjoyable. I like the cast. We finished THE SINNER, which got more and more ridiculous (even stupid in parts) towards the end. There will be a fourth series, with Harry involved with the artist. Also finished HIT & RUN, which definitely left things hanging for series two. We started THE DEFEATED (only one episode so far). Jackie thought his accent was acceptably Brooklyn, though not a typical accent. I like the setting (1946 Berlin). Otherwise, continuing with the other series we've been watching. Saturday night is Brit Nite. Currently watching KAVANAGH Q.C., the original UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS, THE CAZALETS (watchable, good cast, but not terribly involving really, and boy, everyone smokes a LOT), THE GOOD LIFE (aka GOOD NEIGHBORS), a favorite sitcom. I think I will start rewatching FOYLE'S WAR soon. It was created by ANthony Horowitz, who also wrote 22 of the 26 episodes.

Weather has been very strange for August. First got a glancing blow from Henri, then several days of horrible hot and very humid weather, followed by a cool, overcast weekend, and now we could be getting multiples inches of rain from Ida on Wednesday.

We made *and survived) our first trip to the city since December of 2019. Took the express bus to 23rd Street, checked into the Marriott Renaissance Chelsea, went to eat an early dinner at Hill Country Barbecue (the first place that asked for proof we'd been vaccinated, though the staff was unmasked), then saw the Eagles at Madison Square Garden (where, again, everyone had to provide proof of vaccination). I mostly wore my mask all night, despite knowing everyone was vaccinated. We stayed overnight, ate breakfast, then took the bus back home. And no, I did not feel very comfortable mingling with so many people.

Boy, it's a good thing Bouchercon in New Orleans was canceled a few weeks ago, isn't it? And on the 16th Anniversary of Katrina? What are the odds?

pattinase (abbott) said...

A friend just sent me a long analysis of it and why it is his favorite Altman film. I wish I had watched it better prepared. I bought that book too, Steve. Don't know when I will get to it.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have been rewatching FOYLE here and there but should have done it in order. SOrry your trip into the city was a bit worrisome. I guess it will be for a while.

George said...

Our hellish Summer weather is supposed to moderate later this week. Too much heat and humidity for me! This August is the hottest month for Western NY since they started keeping weather records!

I think a lot of people had Covid-19 but didn't realize it in 2020. I spoke to our local Rite-Aid pharmacist last week when I was picking up a prescription. He says Rite-Aid is planning on Booster Shots for October. A friend's daughter, who is immuno-compromised, got her Booster shot a couple days ago.

I'm worried about Deb and her family. My niece lives in Slidell, Louisiana, too, and she lost power. I never want to experience a hurricane!

Jeff Meyerson said...

The trip was actually good, but we were just nervous at times. First we took the bus, which was pretty empty, but there were three Spanish girls (tourists), chattering loudly, and one of them had no mask (and the other two took theirs off). It was things like that. That's why I kept the mask on most of the time.

Dana King said...

THE LONG GOODBYE is an abomination. it may be all right as a film for those who never read the book, but it is so different in tone and outlook they should have changed the title.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My friend who loves it said his group of friends are equally divided between those who love and those who hate it,

Jerry House said...

It has been far too long since I have seen THE BIG GOODBYE to remember much. I know I thought it was okay but that it was NOT the novel. (I had gone on a Raymond Chandler reading binge just a couple of years before.) IMDb lists the film as comedy, crime, and drama, which may tell you how close they wanted to stick to the original story. Altman always wanted to film things his own way which worked for me a couple of times and did not work for me many times more. Altman also had a thing for Nina van Pallandt, casting her in four of his movies, which is another thing about Altman that I never could figure out.

This week has been a blur since my oral surgery on Tuesday. The pain has left me whimpering -- a lot. Pain pills are my friends although I am careful not to overdo them. The temporary dentures dig into my already sore gums but I have to keep them in so the gums do not swell. I also found out that the surgeon had to do a couple of bone grafts which may have something to do with the pain. I still cannot speak and can only eat yogurt and pudding, and not too much of either. Not surprisingly I have lose weight. As my body heals from the trauma, I find myself exhausted, sleeping or trying to sleep about 90% of the time. I probably have another week of this nonsense before I see a light at the end of the tunnel. And, as I discovered a couple of days later, how the heck did I get that black eye?

I have as much concentration as our geriatric cat. I have watched som television but can't remember what. I've tried posting a few things on my blog but find it hard to keep my mind on it. I've tried reading but can only read four or five pages before I conk out for an hour or two or three, then I wake up and read another four or five pages. I read a Rex Stout novel that way and it took me six days to get through it.

On the bright side of things, Ida did not hit us us although her winds "kissed" Pensacola. Lotsa of rain and thunder and lightning but nothing major. I am very concerned for Deb and her family in Louisiana, as well as for anyone else in the path of the storm.

Ceili turned 25 this week but I was not able to celebrate with her the way I wanted to. I'll have to save that for later.

Have I ever mentioned that Kitty is a Godsend and that she should have been named Patience?

I am super-chuffed that your week has been far better than mine. Keep it up!

TracyK said...

Glen and I both like THE LONG GOODBYE with Elliott Gould. But it is definitely a different take on Marlowe. I had forgotten that Nina van Pallandt was in that. She was just in one of the ELLERY QUEEN episodes we watched.

We have been watching BOSCH among other things like STARGATE SG-1 and STAR TREK TNG and we watched the first Columbo episode last night: PRESCRIPTION: MURDER.

Last week I finished JUST ONE DAMN THING AFTER ANOTHER by Jodi Taylor, a time travel / adventure story. Lots of fun and I will be reading more. Now I am reading THE TAKING OF PELHAM 0NE TWO THREE by John Godey.

Rick Robinson said...

I completely agree with Dana King, up above there. Read the novel!

The weather has improved, though fires still burn and we have smoke in the air. We had what they called “measurable precipitation” a few days ago, .02 inch. Here, 8 miles from downtown, it was a 15 minute slight drizzle thing. Still, the oppressive heat is gone.

I felt so overwhelmed with books that I returned all my library books and canceled all my holds (9 books). I have the new William Kent Krueger novel, Lightning Strike here, and the new Louise Penny, but am suffering reader’s block or something, I just can’t concentrate. I did read a couple of short stories, but not even enough to post about. I’m afraid I’ve been letting the blog slide.

After reading an article in Slate, we decided to buy the game Wingspan, and when it finally arrived (no one local had it) we read through the rules, watched a couple of how-to videos on YouTube, and then over the weekend we played it. It’s fun and interesting.

Not much to report on watching, other than the news of Afghanistan, Covid, Ida, wildfires and GOP ranters. We did watch a couple of old Morse episodes, which are being rerun on PBS.

Stay safe, Patti, and enjoy.

pattinase (abbott) said...

So sorry, Jerry. I had no idea it would be this bad. Maybe I will keep my implants after all. I have had to have bone grafts for a couple of those.
I think Covid is wreaking havoc with all of us. Just came back from a doctor visit and some shopping and boy, people are not wearing masks much in Michigan. There are very old people without masks and I just don't get that at all. Also stores seem to be allowing their employees to go maskless. I guess they can't afford to lose them to anger over it.
I think I am going to have to watch THE LONG GOODBYE again to decide which side I come down on.

Jeff Meyerson said...

Jerry, ouch. I feel your pain. I went through major mouth work several years ago, had almost the whole top done, teeth extracted, etc. Believe me, in the end it is worth it.

Rick, I went through the same thing a couple of months ago. I couldn't read anything but short stories and a little non-fiction. I found the only answer was to ignore ALL political news (no, I don't care what any politicians, or newsmen for that matter, think about Afghanistan). The pandemic is enough to worry about, plus you have had your weather woes. That's enough.

Rick Robinson said...

Thanks, Jeff. Jerry, get well soon! Patti, those unmasked customers and employees would have me complaining to the management of the store! Grrrr. If nothing else I’d let them know they just lost a customer. How/why are those people so ignorant???

Thank God for Barbara! She does all the going out stuff, safe and masked and careful (and more tolerant than I am), while I can stay home and safe.

Steve A Oerkfitz said...

Jerry-That sounds rough. I had my dentures done about 5 years ago with little trouble. So I guess I lucked out.
The Long Goodbye is one of my favorite novels. I have read it multiple times. But I still like the movie. They are two totally different entities.
I never have reader's block. Just too many books and not enough time.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I often have reader's block. And writer's too. And then I find I need to look for another type of book or short stories and it goes away. But it never happened to me years ago. Like Steve, the books were waiting for me.

Todd Mason said...

Indeed, yikes, Jerry, and yikes in a more past is past way for you, Patti--I'm sorry things are so painful mouthwise, Jerry, but sleep should help healing. Patti, I'm glad your first bout of C19 wasn't worse, and I wonder about the duration of antibodies. Rick, I certainly sympathize with reader's block, at times, as well, though I do manage to read a chapbook yesterday morning. Will probably write it up for tomorrow. Surprised George hasn't ever experienced a hurricane...I've been through them in New England, Hawaii and the DC 'burbs...I guess Northern New York contents itself with blizzards (Hawaii does mudslides for its lack of blizzards). Fairbanks, Alaska does floods instead of earthquake epicentering, and murderous cold every winter.

There's always some damned thing that has needed doing around here, usually for days when not months, so that and recovering from doing the various thats when they are strenuous is part of why I don't read as much as might like.

As usual, Haiti's misery and that of other messes around the world have been pushed out of the "discussion" in most "news"-chat programming and print coverage for more pretense of surprise that nothing has been done well in Afghanistan. Though the reminders that much of New Orleans (less discussion about Mississippi and the rest of Louisiana or Texas) has not actually recovered from Katrina are useful, even if they add nothing to hopes of cheer.

The two most endlessly chewed-over topics on Rara-Avis at the height of its activity were how Noir and Hardboiled should be defined and their borders, and whether THE LONG GOODBYE film was the greatest crime against art in the history of everything or a decent watch. I like it, it is indeed Leigh Brackett's baby as much as it is Altman's as it does attempt a rather '70s take on the kind of events that they plucked from the novel. Gould was allowed a certain degree of self-indulgence, but I think he gives a performance that is part of the exploration of ingrained corruption that is, of course, at the heart of the film as well as the novel. Van Pallandt appears in Altman films in part because he liked having as many conventionally beautiful blondes handy as possible. Altman definitely also liked capturing "alternate" and unconventional performances, and both cited actors certainly delivered those here, if Van Pallandt a bit more subtly. I remember John Simon, who was of very mixed opinion about the film, thought particularly brilliant the sequence of them and the family dog trying vainly to rescue her character's husband, they damned near drowning themselves, and the dog rather happy that he was able to retrieve the husband's walking stick. (Jules Furthman was the scripting strawboss on THE BIG SLEEP's first film, as Brackett and Faulkner, despite their talent, were newbies at film-scripting--she had one minor film to her credit, WF I think less than that, and Faulkner apparently moodily checked out for much of the work.) The "proxy" savaging of the "girl""friend" by the thug certainly does stick in the memory, but does rather appropriately limn that kind of thug about as well as the similar mayhem in THE BIG HEAT, both perhaps a bit Too invested in showing us the details, but at least with no pretense that perpetrators aren't monsters, unlike certain other crime drama.

The current season of ANIMAL KINGDOM has inspired me to finally catch up with the first season. And then refresh my memory of the subsequent seasons. My Dichen Lachman media crush is unabated, and I even know how to pronounce her name now. BRING YOUR BAGGAGE AND DON'T PACK LIGHT by Helen Ellis does sound interesting. (I feared momentarily that you referred to something by B. E. Ellis, but he Might write something worthwhile eventually.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I saw the Australian movie version of AK but never the TV show.

Rick Robinson said...

I thought Animal Kingdom was a TV show sponsored by Mutual of Omaha.

Rick Robinson said...


“ Wild Kingdom, also known as Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, is an American documentary television program that features wildlife and nature. It was originally produced from 1963 until 1988, and it was revived in 2002. The show's second incarnation aired until 2011 on Animal Planet in the United States. ”

Todd Mason said...

WILD KINGDOM was a bit like ANIMAL KINGDOM to the extent Marlon Perkins almost always had Jim and his other younger assistants do the dirty work, but otherwise mostly dissimilar.

I've managed to not see more than a few minutes of the film so far, landing on it while it plays, but will in the near future. David Michod, the film's main sparkplug, is unsurprisingly a producer on the tv series, but I don't know how much a hand he takes.

Todd Mason said...

Patti, the tv series is well-written, well-acted and well-produced. But I like, as I've mentioned before, nearly everything I've seen from (very hands-on) producer (and frequently director on this series) John Wells. (ER, of course, fell apart by the last third of its run and always was a vague sort of Crichton/Spielberg chirpy, but was perhaps the least of his work I've seen and probably the big project he had least unfettered input in.)

Todd Mason said...

Oops...the boss host of WILD KINGDOM was Marlin, not Marlon, height of watching it was ca. 1970, when it came on just before WONDERFUL WORLD OF DISNEY...