karaokegal (karaokegal) wrote,

Chinatown at the Roxie-plus Skype hook-up Polanski interview.

The theater was full, but not jam-packed. I arrived at 1215P for a 1230P showing and was able to get "my" seats at the Roxie, third row aisle.

The only "protester" was one woman handing out a flyer. Her basic concern was that in the publicity information for the event Mr. Polanski was described as an "alleged rapist" instead of a "convicted rapist." Which even by the exact details of the case she had on the flyer is still semantically iffy. The bottom of the flyer had a big bold print line: THIS IS RAPE CULTURE.

It was still a considerably less vociferous protest than I had been expecting. Maybe because it was sort of a gloomy day out with potential rain. I don't know. I don't care. I was there to see the movie and the interview.

OMG! Have you seen Chinatown lately? I'm pretty sure it was the first time I'd ever seen it on the big screen and probably the first time seeing it at all in at least a decade. What an absolutely gorgeous piece of film-making. Literally. Just beautiful to see the recreation of 30's LA, even if it's the LA that never was, and a young-ish Nicholson, going bald, even then, but damn well rocking the period clothes.

I won't spoil the plot if you don't know it, but those who do will agree that it's still so incredibly relevant, it's nearly mind-boggling.

We're so used to seeing the iconic scenes..."My sister, my daughter..." that we forget the brilliance of the whole work. Seriously, if you love movies and especially noir, you need to get out your DVD or put it on Netflix or something.

Faye Dunaway's character is such a perfect homage to Jane Greer, Lauren Bacall, Lizabeth Scott etc in the great noirs, and it's a good reminder that even before Mommy Dearest, she was a very mannered actress, but that it made it perfect for this part, abetted by the costumes/make-up etc.

John Huston as Noah Cross is just the ultimate embodiment of evil and the way he keeps mispronouncing "Gittes" is so chillingly and obnoxiously deliberate, it says everything about the character in one continuing detail.

Applause when Roman shows up on the screen as the jive-talking thug who cuts Nicholson's nose. He was rocking the period clothes too. Great hat.

The interview was conducted by Thom Mount and again, I know we all have varying opinions about the Polanski and the case, but this even was about movies and movie-making, and Mr. Polanski came off as a mellow and charming person.

Some points of interest:
He has had a subscription to Scientific American for fifty years and actually showed us the copies on the coffee table (I assume) in front of the couch where he was sitting.

They started shooting Chinatown without an actual ending. Robert Towne was actually leaning toward something "happy," which of course is like WHUT? Also apparently there was some argument about whether Jack and Evelyn would actually sleep together.

He actually mentioned Sharon Tate, which I wasn't expecting. It was in regards to the making of Chinatown and how he didn't want to come back to LA because it was so soon after the murders. Fully understandable, but just hearing him mention it seemed weird to me.

The show after Chinatown was Frantic, which I didn't stay for. One of the questions, apparently from a Roxie employee was what kind of mood Roman was in when he made Frantic. Maybe because it's such a dark movie? Anyway, he said he was very happy, because he was in Paris.

Obvious there's a few "hey it's that guy" moments in the movie, and at one point John Hillerman shows up as (surprise!) and officious bureaucrat. He talks about his wife and kids and Jack gives him some "time to think about it" in terms of telling him the truth about a plot point in the mystery. I couldn't help thinking to myself..."Or maybe you'll go to Hawaii and manage a big estate for a famous writer."
Tags: blog, journal, movie review, sflove

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