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En pleine nuit, Terry Lennox demande à son ami Philip Marlowe, un détective privé, de le conduire de toute urgence au Mexique. Ce dernier accepte, mais à son retour il est fraîchement accueilli par la police. Sylvia, l'épouse de Lennox, a en effet été retrouvée assassinée et Marlowe est inculpé pour meurtre. (Capricci Films)

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Toutes les critiques de l’utilisateur·trice

français Robert Altman dresse sa propre vision, originale et moderne, du personnage classique de film noir Phil Marlowe (excellente attribution de rôle avec Elliott Gould et son tempérament détendu) et du désenchantement d’un monde dans lequel se cachent le mensonge et la manipulation sous un masque d’amitié et de confiance. Le tout met en appétit pour un final nihiliste en plein, dans lequel Altman laisse le héros pourtant habituellement flegmatique montrer de quel bois il se chauffe. Superbe ambiance des années soixante-dix, distribution intéressante dans les rôles secondaires et dialogues dynamiques. Pour moi, un vrai régal de film néo-noir. ()


Toutes les critiques de l’utilisateur·trice

anglais In his subversive adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s classic noir, Altman shifts the setting from the (seemingly) visually and purposefully black-and-white 1940s to the early 1970s, with its gaudiness, ambiguity, paranoia and self-centredness. Philip Marlowe’s iconic private detective thus becomes an anachronism navigating an environment in which he consciously does not fit. Altman’s The Long Goodbye is often praised for depicting Los Angeles as it was at the time. Despite its numerous characters from diverse backgrounds, however, this is not the equivalent of the director’s peak frescoes like Nashville or an obviously absurd self-reflective farce like Brewster McCloud. In The Long Goodbye, everything is subordinated to demolishing conventions and exposing the inappropriateness of the cinematic “reality” of Hollywood productions. Marlowe is thus not only a representative of obsolete values, but also a relatively passive and unknowing pawn in the games and interests of the characters around him. Even before we hear the final mocking chorus of the hackneyed “Hooray for Hollywood”, which definitively pulls the rug out from under any noir solemnity, Altman imbues the narrative with a number of other alienating elements, from the imitative doorman and every possible inappropriately behaving genre character to the theme song, which creeps into the film in various arrangements and in bizarre diegetic circumstances. This unconventional approach is also manifested in the brilliantly original camerawork, which basically stays in motion and, together with the set design and improvisation of individual scenes, often draws attention to itself. This results not only in imaginative and original shots, but also in the definitive breaking of classic Hollywood’s basic rule that a film should not draw attention to itself and mustn’t pull the audience out of the illusion that the film has constructed. As a singular and obstinately distinctive director, Altman ostentatiously bid farewell to the conventions of studio productions with spectacular spitefulness, and he did it in the space of a feature-length studio commission. When the viewer accepts this game, The Long Goodbye provides a lot of inconspicuously grotesque oddball meta-genre entertainment that is purely anti-viewer at its core. ()



Toutes les critiques de l’utilisateur·trice

anglais With Robert Altman's films, I usually don't have any problems, even though they don't hurry anywhere and require patience and an eye for detail. However, Altman's peculiar approach to Chandler's material goes beyond this experience. I have nothing against placing the story in a different time frame, I wouldn't even mind if the plot took place in the present. I wouldn't mind certain character and plot modifications either - if I didn't have the feeling that Altman thoroughly drained the novel and turned Marlowe's character upside down. The tough, cynical detective who used to spout dry remarks has become a creation similar to Woody Allen's characters - but unlike them, lacking a significantly smaller degree of irony. I don't share the enchantment with the atmosphere of the seventies, Altman uses superficial references for his modernization, and he doesn't even come close to what, let's say, Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice possesses - where the 70s don't just scream at you through women's hairstyles and outfits, but through all the contradictions of that time. The Long Goodbye is not a genre parody, but it's not a film you could believe in either. Altman's films usually don't bore me, but with The Long Goodbye, I really perceived its length unpleasantly. I don't have problems with the characters' motivations, but the way they are fulfilled is dysfunctional and untrustworthy. Overall impression: 45%. ()


Toutes les critiques de l’utilisateur·trice

anglais Elliott Gould is definitely an interesting actor, but he just wasn't right for the role of Philip Marlowe in my opinion. He and Robert Altman have given the whole mythos a pretty interesting, completely new look, but it doesn't suit Marlowe, even if the story remains hardboiled at its core. No, it's not what you expect, and no, you may not enjoy it. ()

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