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Chinatown, 50 years of the greatest neo-noir music of all time

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“Forget it, Jake…it’s Chinatown.”. One of the most famous phrases in cinematic history turns 50 years old today. Chinatown, Roman Polanski’s neo-noir masterpiece, remains a defining moment in the history of seventh art, particularly art that knows how to take a genre, pay tribute to it, and at the same time deconstruct it, distort it in order to speak to it. We are about something bigger, and at the same time also about something smaller. Polish director that June 20, 1974He showed the world his last film in the United States, before returning to the old continent. But saying goodbye, it was definitely the most exciting one could imagine. today again, Chinatown It is referred to as His greatest filmhigher than that Rosemary’s Baby, The Knife in the Water, The Pianist or repulsion. This is thanks to Polanski’s unique ability to bring us into a state of intense fervor, luring us into a beautifully designed trap with the screenwriter. Robert TownWhere historical reality, fantasy and simulation often give way to symbolism, which distances us from classicism, and leaves room for a story in which man’s helplessness and lack of control over life and his surroundings is the dominant feature of reality. All in the service of Jack Nicholson, who was in fact the architect of the interest Polanskitogether with the manufacturer Bob Evans.



Script written by Chinatown It was actually very different from the original script conceived by Towne, which had been repeatedly rewritten at Polanski’s wish. The end is bitter and marked by defeatThis is perhaps the most striking thing that distances Polanski’s film from being merely a retrospective exercise American noir Totally court. This was the type in Humphrey Bogart In the 1930s and 1940s, the prince donated unique masterpieces, but the Polish director knew that merely reproducing that narrative period would have led to failure. In connection with the Los Angeles drought of the 1930s, which was accompanied by widespread legal battles and speculation, Chinatown We are introduced to Detective Jake Gates (Jack Nicholson), a tough and intelligent individual, tormented by his past but still gifted with a great sense of humor and wit. He is hired by the mysterious and charming Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) to investigate the alleged infidelity of her husband, Hollis Mulwari, who “coincidentally” is also the engineer in charge of water control in the City of Angels. What should have been like so many other cases for Jill would leave him trapped in an ambiguous situation The conspiracy is based on speculation and fraudmysteries, at the center of which is Evelyn’s father, the powerful and dark Noah Cross (John Huston).

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Chinatown tells us not about a mystery to be solved, but about an existential and universal impotence

If as a starting point Chinatown by Roman Polanski is, in every way, or so it seems, an extension of, and distancing themselves from, what Raymond Chandler and other great auteurs created in the same genre, direction, aesthetics, and semantics. The film represents a cinematic breakthrough, another breakthrough for the Polish director, who has always used excitement to go elsewhere. It is directed almost entirely from a subjective point of view, and keeps us following the story Jack Nicholson taped to his noseoften beaten but invincible, tries to find his way among the mysterious murders, alongside the icy and desperate Dunaway but not just a version of the murderous court. Chinatown It does not speak to us of a puzzle to be solved, but of an existential and universal impotence. Detective Gates searches The truth about a man’s disappearanceThen about her death, then about that woman and her family. In short, he is searching for the truth about that hot, drought-besieged city, which, as in most classical American history, immediately becomes a capitalist and speculative opportunity. Chinatown It is destroying all the pillars of American society one by one. The family is a mixture of incest and violence, the homeland simply does not exist, being swept away at the very moment there is money to be made at the time. God who is the God of money. Polanski’s God is ready to drown everyone, as he appears in water, an element that has always been common in his cinematography, but never seen as in Chinatown Very important, very present. A messenger of death and instability, his value is like oil, flowing through that land that seems shaken by the torments of the Old Biblical Testament.

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in Chinatown At a certain moment the tension becomes unbearable, and the atmosphere threatens death, despair, failure and tragedy. In terms of writing, the film is unparalleled even today in the history of cinema, as every dialogue is a door to different interpretations, and the style elevates everything, compensating for the potential confusion of the audience in the face of these ongoing events. Twists and secretsFor this detective, he’s simply trying to do the right thing. In the end, tragic and painful, he finds himself shipwrecked on a desert island with that last sentence, that “Forget it, Jake…it’s Chinatown.” Which It is a sentence that forces humanity to be unable to reach the sun, and not to find a solution with which to revolt or change its life, because life, in the end, always wins. There was and still is a lot of debate about how much Chinatown It is associated with the great authors of this genre. Epic Philip Marlowe And Sam SpadeIn short, Raymond Chandler’s creatures are starting points from which Polanski distances himself. The connection with production is clear Ross McDonald But, in all likelihood, if you look at the narrative structure, the psychology of the characters and their connotations, in the Chinese box game, James Ellroy is probably the closest. We have the Chinese box game Where the truth escapes us and then reappears before us, on a journey halfway between dream and reality, clarity and deep, unbelievable madness.



Soundtrack for Jerry Goldsmith Film helped move away from the classical form, and photography did the same, with exciting action john a. Alonzo. Jack Nicholson, the author of one of his greatest performances here, far from the theatrics that made him so famous, remains today one of the most fascinating, believable, and meaningful heroes of the genre ever. Listed in the United States Library of Congress as a work to be preserved, included in every list of the best American films of all time, Chinatown It remains a masterpiece of writing, visualization, direction and formThis is further evidence that Polanski, who is so brave and daring, and in some ways even cruel, if we like, manages to understand the need to move away from a happy ending. He used Hollywood methods to distance himself from this expected concept of opera, the same concept that he would have rejected along with its ungrateful producers, its arrogant actors, and the desire to always appease the audience in the right way. The irony is that Polanski, by refusing to do so, proved that he deeply understood the noir genre, its true essence. For this reason also, for this reason, Chinatown Half a century later it still stands Greatest neon of all time.

Shot by Julio Zupilo

I was born in Padua in 1985, and have always been a big fan of sports, cinema and art. After twelve years of working as a professional coach and scout in the volleyball world, I decided to pursue a career as a journalist.
Since 2016, I have been collaborating with several print and electronic magazines, as a critic and correspondent for festivals such as Venice, Rome and Trieste Science Fiction.
I have published with Viola Editoris “Cinema in a Time of Terrorism”Analysis of post-September 11 cinema. For Esquire, I cover film, television and sports, and I’m especially a big fan of football, boxing, volleyball and tennis.
Thanks to this passion, I also maintain an in-depth personal page on Facebook entitled Winning moment.
I believe in the weight of words, in irony, in always being true to one’s opinion when writing, and in never thinking about one’s infallibility.

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