Chinatown Special Collectors Edition Roman Polanski

Chinatown Special Collectors Edition Roman Polanski
Attempting a critique of Chinatown is futile. It’s simply one of the greatest films ever made in the hundred-plus years of the art form’s history. Set in 1938 as a Philip Marlowe-like film noir, it’s shot as a film blanche, where most of the amoral activities happen in plain site during vivid sunlight. A tale entrenched deep in the brilliance of the myth and history of Los Angeles, with its facade of glamour, audacity and the darkness of will necessary to construct an oasis in the desert. Jack Nicholson plays J.J. Gittes (Jake, as his friends call him), a typical hardnosed detective hired to investigate what he thinks is a run of the mill infidelity case. What he discovers along the way plays out as one of the most complex plots ever put convincingly to film. Shot with such a sense of frugal film-making that it’s almost impossible to find a wasted shot or a throwaway character who doesn’t come back into this story’s arc, Chinatown shocks with the taboo, makes fantastical of the mundane — the bureaucracy of water utilities — and has a scene that would rival Tarantino for the "best director cameo in a scene of gut-wrenching violence” award. Particularly exceptional is Faye Dunaway’s modernised femme fatal, a woman with a will and demons she struggles to keep at bay in every scene. It’s a performance that makes you long for resolve, as long as it never comes. Along with Jack, the DVD’s special features include conversational shorts that reveal the collaborative and conflicting nature of the film’s set. The talent pool included famed ’70s rebel within the studio system Robert Evens (The Kid Stays In The Picture) producing, script doctor for The Godfather Robert Towne writing and the enigmatic Roman Polanski directing. As they reminisce about working together, they reveal how even Chinatown’s unforgettable ending didn’t come from some meticulous reclusive writer’s studio but pure procrastination and fraternal brainstorming. (Paramount)