Film review: Chinatown, Roman Polanski's Californian noir

(15)

Anthony Quinn
Thursday 03 January 2013 20:30 GMT
Comments

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

A season of Roman Polanski films at the BFI kicks off with his very greatest, a Californian noir about water and power with a strong undertow of Greek tragedy.

"Forget it, Jake – it's Chinatown", goes the famous last line, yet everything about Chinatown is memorable, starting with Robert Towne's Oscar-winning script, Jack Nicholson's most nuanced performance, Richard Sylbert's exquisite production design, John A Alonzo's burnished photography, Jerry Goldsmith's tense, mournful score.

It all clicks together with the precision of a Swiss watch. Polanski himself appears as a malevolent knifeman who cuts Nicholson's nose to spite his face – and even the bandage put across it became unforgettable.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in