History Film / Chinatown

28th Aug '17 7:47:57 AM DoctorNemesis
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** [[spoiler:Gittes gives Cross the only piece of evidence capable of proving him guilty of murdering Hollis Mulwray.]] Whoops.

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** [[spoiler:Gittes gives Cross the only piece of evidence capable of proving him guilty of murdering Hollis Mulwray.]] Whoops. Although to be entirely fair to him on this one, he ''does'' have a gun pointed at his head at the time.
26th Aug '17 7:44:40 PM lipranzer
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A seminal Neo-Noir film, and considered by many to be among the best examples of FilmNoir in general, ''Chinatown'' (1974) was written by Robert Towne and directed by Creator/RomanPolanski. The film stars Creator/JackNicholson, Creator/FayeDunaway, and Creator/JohnHuston. It is ''[[CrapsackWorld DARK.]]''

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A seminal Neo-Noir film, and considered by many to be among the best examples of FilmNoir in general, ''Chinatown'' (1974) was written by Robert Towne Creator/RobertTowne and directed by Creator/RomanPolanski. The film stars Creator/JackNicholson, Creator/FayeDunaway, and Creator/JohnHuston. It is ''[[CrapsackWorld DARK.]]''
15th Aug '17 9:25:40 AM Mdumas43073
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--> ''Chinatown is a 70s image of a 40s image of the 30s, apparently based, in turn, on Los Angeles water politics from an earlier period again and complete with a kind of indeterminate post 50s soundtrack.''

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--> ''Chinatown ''Chinatown'' is a 70s image of a 40s image of the 30s, apparently based, in turn, on Los Angeles water politics from an earlier period again and complete with a kind of indeterminate post 50s soundtrack.''
15th Aug '17 9:25:07 AM Mdumas43073
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* AmbiguousTimePeriod: [[http://www.rouge.com.au/11/chinatown.html As noted in this article]], the film's portrayal of Los Angeles plucks bits and pieces from multiple eras. The water rights problem was an issue of the [=1910s=] and [=1920s=], while Gittes makes references to "okies" (an insulting word for Oklahoma migrant farmers) and we see a large portrait of [=FDR=]:

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* AmbiguousTimePeriod: While the film is nominally set in 1937, its portrayal of Los Angeles plucks bits and pieces from multiple eras (as noted in [[http://www.rouge.com.au/11/chinatown.html As noted in this article]], the film's portrayal of Los Angeles plucks bits and pieces from multiple eras.article]]). The water rights problem was an issue of the [=1910s=] and [=1920s=], while Gittes makes references to "okies" (an insulting word for Oklahoma migrant farmers) and we see a large portrait of [=FDR=]:



* AteHisGun: In ''The Two Jakes'' a highly cathartic sequence has Jake [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4fylYYIrUc forcing]] Detective Loach to perform fellatio on his gun, which results in Loach's PottyFailure.

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* AteHisGun: In ''The Two Jakes'' a highly cathartic sequence has Jake [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4fylYYIrUc forcing]] Detective Loach to perform tperform fellatio on his gun, which results in Loach's PottyFailure.
13th Aug '17 6:56:49 PM Mdumas43073
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** Polanski's cameo as "Man with a Knife" is often seen as a title drop of his own film "Knife in the Water"

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** Polanski's cameo as the "Man with a Knife" is often seen as a title drop of reference to his own film "Knife in the Water"first film, ''Film/KnifeInTheWater''.
13th Aug '17 6:55:25 PM Mdumas43073
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* {{Retraux}}: The sepia-toned opening credits, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio and vintage Paramount logo. The first shot of the film is a closeup of a series of black-and-white photographs (albeit far more sexually explicit than anything shown in the Old Hollywood), and then the camera pulls back to reveal cinematographer John Alonzo's lush amber period glow that looks a bit like Technicolor but is much richer.

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* {{Retraux}}: {{Retraux}}:
**
The sepia-toned opening credits, titles, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio and ratio, vintage Paramount logo. logo, and old-fashioned scrolling credits.
**
The first shot of the film is a closeup of a series of black-and-white photographs (albeit far more sexually explicit than anything shown in the Old Hollywood), and then the camera pulls back to reveal cinematographer John Alonzo's lush amber period glow that looks a bit like Technicolor but is much richer.
13th Aug '17 6:52:57 PM Mdumas43073
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* {{Retraux}}: The sepia-toned opening credits, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio and vintage Paramount logo. The first shot of the film is a closeup of black-and-white photographs (albeit far more sexually explicit than anything shown in the Old Hollywood), and then the camera pulls back to reveal cinematographer John Alonzo's lush amber period glow that looks a bit like Technicolor but is much richer.

to:

* {{Retraux}}: The sepia-toned opening credits, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio and vintage Paramount logo. The first shot of the film is a closeup of a series of black-and-white photographs (albeit far more sexually explicit than anything shown in the Old Hollywood), and then the camera pulls back to reveal cinematographer John Alonzo's lush amber period glow that looks a bit like Technicolor but is much richer.
13th Aug '17 6:52:09 PM Mdumas43073
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* {{Retraux}}: The sepia-toned opening credits, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio and vintage Paramount logo. The first shot of the film is black and white photographs, which however are way more explicit than anything in the Old Hollywood, and then the camera pulls back to reveal DP John Alonzo's lush amber period glow that looks a bit like Technicolor but is much richer.

to:

* {{Retraux}}: The sepia-toned opening credits, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio and vintage Paramount logo. The first shot of the film is black and white photographs, which however are way a closeup of black-and-white photographs (albeit far more sexually explicit than anything shown in the Old Hollywood, Hollywood), and then the camera pulls back to reveal DP cinematographer John Alonzo's lush amber period glow that looks a bit like Technicolor but is much richer.



* SunshineNoir: The beautiful, golden cinematography of the city contrasts greatly with what actually goes on inside it. Nonetheless many scenes in the middle, and key moments take place at night. Namely when Jake gets his nose cut, when he and Evelyn are on the trail of the mystery and [[spoiler:the ending where Evelyn dies]].

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* SunshineNoir: The beautiful, golden cinematography of the city and its environs contrasts greatly with what actually goes on inside it. Nonetheless many scenes in the middle, and key moments take place at night. Namely when Jake gets his nose cut, when he and Evelyn are on the trail of the mystery and [[spoiler:the ending where Evelyn dies]].
13th Aug '17 6:47:04 PM Mdumas43073
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Added DiffLines:

* FriendOnTheForce: Escobar, to a point.
20th Jul '17 2:46:13 PM JulianLapostat
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* AmbiguousTimePeriod: [[http://www.rouge.com.au/11/chinatown.html As noted in this article]], the film's portrayal of Los Angeles plucks bits and pieces from multiple eras. The water rights problem was an issue of the [=1910s=] and [=1920s=], while Gittes makes references to "okies" (an insulting word for Oklahoma migrant farmers) and we see a large portrait of [=FDR=]:
--> ''Chinatown is a 70s image of a 40s image of the 30s, apparently based, in turn, on Los Angeles water politics from an earlier period again and complete with a kind of indeterminate post 50s soundtrack.''



* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler:One of cinema's most iconic and unforgettable examples. Noah Cross not only gets away with it, but the Hero is left alive, powerless and stunned, and has to watch the villain grab his next victim in full view and disappear, fully aware that he's so low in the totem pole that the villain doesn't even have to kill him, like he did Hollis Mulwray and others]].

to:

* TheBadGuyWins: [[spoiler:One of cinema's most iconic and unforgettable examples. Noah Cross not only gets away with it, but the Hero is left alive, powerless and stunned, and has he gets to watch the villain grab his next victim in full view and disappear, fully aware that he's so low in the totem pole that the villain doesn't even have to kill him, like he did Hollis Mulwray and others]].



* CantSpitItOut: Evelyn struggles many times throughout the film to communicate some of her discomfort to Gittes but never quite gets herself to admit it fully until its too late. This is understandable on account of [[spoiler:the trauma she experienced and the social stigma of being not only a rape victim, but being raped by her rich and powerful father and fathering a child of incest, would make it difficult to confess to anyone, leave alone to Gittes, who initially came across as a snarky snooping gumshoe with a sleazy profile]].
** The first time is when she and Gittes are eating in the restaurant and Gittes flat out asks what's going on, noting that he got his nose cut and would like to know why. Gittes calls for the car and is about to leave before Evelyn yells out his name, in reflex before catching herself.
** The second time is after they have sex, where Evelyn tries to communicate some of her unease about her father only to recoil when Gittes reveals he met her without informing her, warning him that Noah Cross is a very dangerous man.
** The third time is right after Gittes tailed her to the house where [[spoiler:she keeps Katharine and Gittes confronts her about kidnapping Mulwray's "girlfriend" only for Evelyn to state that she's her sister and being disappointed when Gittes walks away again]].



* ExtremelyShortTimespan: The bulk of the action takes place over three really long days, starting from Evelyn's visit to Gittes' office where she officially hires him, and proceeding from there.



** When Gittes asks Evelyn what the "C" monogram on a certain document stands for, she briefly chokes on the name before she says "Cross".

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** When Gittes asks Evelyn what the "C" monogram on a certain document stands for, she briefly chokes on the name before she says "Cross"."Cross" and throughout their interactions struggles to talk about her father, [[spoiler:indicating the abuse she experienced and still experiences as a result of her rape]].



* HardboiledDetective: Jake, or at least he tries to put on an act like this to hide the fact that he's very vulnerable, lonely and bitter, and he tries to hide [[spoiler:how truly powerless he feels, which he finally confronts at the end]].

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* HardboiledDetective: Jake, or at least he tries to put on an act like this to hide the fact that he's very vulnerable, lonely and bitter, and he tries to hide [[spoiler:how truly powerless he feels, which he finally confronts at the end]]. Indeed, Gittes' insistence on putting on that macho, wiseacre, personality [[RealityEnsues probably made himself harder to trust]] and take seriously by both Evelyn and the police.



* NeverMyFault: Noah Cross on being confronted by Gittes [[spoiler:about whether he takes responsibility for raping Evelyn, mutters that he prefers not to blame himself, feeling that what he did was right to any man of his power and stature. This is patently not true as Evelyn says that Hollis Mulwray, who was the same class and stature as Cross, was a decent man]].

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* NeverMyFault: Noah Cross on being confronted by Gittes [[spoiler:about whether he takes responsibility for raping Evelyn, mutters that he prefers not to blame himself, feeling that what he did was right to any man of his power and stature. This is patently not true as Evelyn says that Hollis Mulwray, who was the same class and stature as Cross, was a decent man]].man. But for a man like Cross, morality is an option and not an obligation]].



* NotWhatItLooksLike: Gittes repeatedly faces this problem. He judges events that on the basis of what he sees, looks reasonable, but actually turns out to be something entirely different. In his investigations tailing Hollis Mulwray and his "girlfriend", he assumes that it's and older man with his mistress [[spoiler:when in fact it's a young girl with her surrogate father]]. He later sees Evelyn at home putting [[spoiler:Katharine to bed with some medicine, and assumes that Evelyn is holding her hostage and kidnapped her, when in fact she's a mother concerned over her troubled daughter]].



* RapeAsDrama: [[spoiler:How Katherine was conceived, although Cross claims otherwise.]]

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* PoorCommunicationKills: Much of the film's plot and machinations and the tragedy happen because characters, for a variety of believable reasons, don't trust each other or they make wrong assumptions. [[spoiler:It's notable that Evelyn finally gets killed by Escobar and Lopez, Gittes' FriendOnTheForce and not Cross. The way the finale plays out, with Evelyn firing on Cross and hitting his shoulder, and then absconding with Katharine, makes her look bad which leads the police to shoot at her instead]].
* RapeAsDrama: [[spoiler:How Katherine was conceived, although conceived. Cross claims otherwise.doesn't see it as rape or believe he did anything wrong of course.]]



* {{Retraux}}: The sepia-toned opening credits, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio and vintage Paramount logo. The first shot of the film is black and white photographs, which however are way more explicit than anything in the Old Hollywood, and then the camera pulls back to reveal DP Caleb Deschanel's lush amber period glow that looks a bit like Technicolor but is much richer.
* TheReveal[=/=]WhamLine: Katherine turns out to be [[spoiler: Mrs. Mulwray's sister ''AND'' [[FamilyRelationshipSwitcheroo her daughter]]]].

to:

* {{Retraux}}: The sepia-toned opening credits, complete with 4:3 aspect ratio and vintage Paramount logo. The first shot of the film is black and white photographs, which however are way more explicit than anything in the Old Hollywood, and then the camera pulls back to reveal DP Caleb Deschanel's John Alonzo's lush amber period glow that looks a bit like Technicolor but is much richer.
* TheReveal[=/=]WhamLine: Katherine turns out to be [[spoiler: Mrs. Mulwray's sister ''AND'' [[FamilyRelationshipSwitcheroo her daughter]]]].daughter]], her ChildByRape from her evil father]].
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