Screening as part of IT'S OKAY BY ME: REVISIONIST FILM NOIR AND GEMINI!
Robert Altman tinkered constantly with genre throughout his 60 year career, but nowhere more brilliantly than in THE LONG GOODBYE, his hilarious, shaggy dog riff on the detective story - and one of the greatest of the Nixon-era neo-noirs. Adapted liberally from an actual Raymond Chandler novel, THE LONG GOODBYE follows Chandler's most famous creation - private eye Phillip Marlowe (an impeccably cool Elliot Gould) - through a series of small, interweaving cases, which lead him closer and closer to discovering the truth about a recently deceased friend. That is, of course, after he manages to buy some cat food for his cat.
Altman's loose yarn forever warped the popular cinematic understanding of what constitutes a gumshoe, while providing a timely and unique portrait of Los Angeles in the early '70s, and cementing Altman himself as a smart-ass force of nature. Influencing films like The Big Lebowski and Inherent Vice, THE LONG GOODBYE is mandatory viewing for anyone who loves cinema, detective stories, or cold balogne and mayo.