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Robert Altman: An Oral Biography


Palm Springs. A perfect setting for a California noir if ever there was one. Desert, dreams, the Inland Empire…

It’s been used, of course – by Robert Parker collaborating (posthumously) with Raymond Chandler in Poodle Springs.

Poolside, at the Riviera Resort and Spa, the book I’m reading is Robert Altman – An Oral Biography.

In the early ’70s, Altman filmed an adaptation of Chandler’s The Long Goodbye with Elliott Gould. In 1979, he filmed the movie 3 Women here.

The Riviera is old Hollywood – or was. It’s since been refurbished. Now the pool (and the “bikini bar”) is/are the place to be seen and to frolic. This coming weekend (Memorial Day weekend) will be insane.

I love it here, mid-week, hot but not too, lounging around the pool. Today they switched from an album of arch French lounge covers of New Wave and classic rock songs to classic rock/soul tunes by Stevie Wonder, the hated (by me) Eric Clapton “I Shot the Sheriff”.

The pool (almost) has as many curves as the poolsiders.

It’s sometimes difficult to concentrate on the Altman book.

But it is perfect.

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