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Robert Towne's screenplay for the 1974 film "Chinatown" tells an original story, but a story whose scope, intrigue, characters, pacing, and style owe a great debt to the work of Raymond Chandler. That said, it would be a mistake to view "Chinatown" as a simple nostalgia piece. In this tale of the fundamental--indeed foundational--corruption of Los Angeles, Director Roman Polanski, Writer Towne, and Cinematographer John Alonzo tell a hard-boiled tale in a modern filmic style, and this productive collision allows them to simultaneously critique and reaffirm the mythic qualities of genre literature and film. This podcast is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.
Direct download: OOTP_2006_06_01_C.mp3
Category:Movies -- posted at: 12:00 AM
Comments[5]

  • Noah Cross, the original Rollo Tomasi -- the guy that gets away with it. I love it. I also love the eye motif -- esp \"one bad eye\" that runs through this film.

    posted by: Mike White on 2008-05-21 13:31:00

  • Great commentary guys. I really appreciate it. This is literally my very favorite film of all time. (Although I also have a VERY soft spot for Yojimbo. I like Pulp.) Your insight into sentence fragments as internal character revelation was terrific, as was the comment about Sound Design/Mix. I also want to add regarding Sound Design, that I noticed these moments of punctuated Sound are further enhanced as there are plenty of times where Sound Design is used to deliberately blend into the background, thus making these moments more startling. Examples: Jake and Evelyn at the restaurant (although its dialogue scene), and Jake follows Hollis to the beach, where the sound of the coming water is roaring relative to everything else, including the ocean. I\'d love to talk or write to you guys if your interested or inclined. Now I\'m off to watch all the other films on your list. Do you guys have any personal favorites? Top 20s from each of you perhaps? :-D p.s. e-mail will get bounced. It may say not received, but that\'s b/c I have it forwarded to me. Much obliged.

    posted by: Film Student on 2009-04-07 00:28:00

  • This was one of the most anticipated podcasts for me. This is one of my favorite movies and this podcast captured it beautifully. I especially like the reference to Rian Johnson\'s \"Brick\", which by the way should be a podcast of it\'s own. You guys rock.

    posted by: Tim on 2006-06-01 14:54:00

  • I, too, looked forward to this one for a long time. Really enjoyed it overall, but was hoping to learn more about the original ending that Towne had written VS. Polanksi\'s reasons for it to end as it did (but I can\'t imagine any other way would work). I suppose this one could have been an hour or more and still missed some things. I love the idea that Gittes is more Marlowe than any other screen performance - probably why it\'s my personal fav! Thanks guys. A really bang-up job.

    posted by: Dave in DC on 2006-06-26 13:25:00

  • Chinatown is unquestionably one of the best films to emerge from the 1970s, a period that has been called the \"last great decade of American cinema\" by more than one movie critic. The production, which went in front of the cameras without a final script or debt settlement, marks the high-water point in the careers of both lead actor Jack Nicholson and director Roman Polanski.

    posted by: Kci on 2008-04-25 06:56:00

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