|She never sees anyone for long ...|
Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Saturday, 1 December 2012
Back to 1974: Chinatown
I had forgotten how stunning CHINATOWN was and still is, how we loved it back in 1974 - it was on again this week as part of a Jack Nicholson season on tv (along with THE PASSENGER below). Everything about it is so perfect, Polanski fashions a movie of great moments from Robert Towne's script, changing the ending of course. It captures the L.A. of the 1930s as it must have been, all those 1920s houses etc and the perfect costumes and hairstyles. There's that first great scene as Jack persists in telling his Chinaman joke unaware of Mrs Mulwray behind him ... and then that teasing plot of what is happening to the water supply .... and who is behind it all, as Noah Cross plots for "the future" ...
In all, perhaps the finest balance of Hollywood classicism and European art cinema any director has ever conjured, and a key '70s movie and part of the new Hollywood of Coppola, Scorsese, De Palma et al. Polanski is now subject to a two-part retrospective in London, where CHINATOWN will be getting 38 screenings and those other ones we like like REPULSION and his delicious vampire satire DANCE OF THE VAMPIRES (Polanski label). Geoff Andrew of the BFI refers to CHINATOWN as "A dazzlingly intelligent film of great dramatic power and near-mythic import."