Friday, 25 February 2011

A-Z #43: Chinatown

You can pick up hundreds of DVD's for a round-pound each - it doesn't matter. Its never about quantity, its about quality. A-Z is my way of going through my collection, from A-Z, and understanding why I own the films ... or you can tell me why I should sell 'em

#43 - Chinatown

Why did I buy it?

One of those 'classic' pieces of cinema and one of two 'most-important' film in Roman Polanski's back-catalogue (the other being Rosmary's Baby). Additionally, I am a big fan of all films of the Gangster genre, and so this undercover-thriller was a film I was destined to purchase and watch many years ago

Why do I still own it?

The first time I watched this, I did not own it. It was onlt a number of years later when I seemed to constantly find myself coming across the film again and again. It was nominated for Best Picture (and nominated for another eleven Academy Awards, but only taking one away for Towne's Best Screenplay) and losing out to The Godfather Part II - though incidently it did win Best Motion Picture at the Golden Globes. It crops up for disection within Syd Field's Screenplay: The Foundations of Screewriting. And, as the film-noir of the seventies, it always stands out from the crowd for its dark subject matter and grotesque ending. I only watched it recently again, prior to watching Polanski's The Ghost and it still stands as an incredible film - with incredible performances from Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway and John Huston. 

Maybe I am wrong, maybe there is a reason it didn't pick up the awards?

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