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The Devil In The Detail: Thoughts On 'Chinatown' On Its 40th Anniversary

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • June 18, 2014 4:00 PM
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  • 28 Comments
Chinatown Nicholson B/W
I still remember the first time I ever saw a two-dollar bill. It was in a wallet, on a TV screen in the living room of my childhood home. The wallet belonged to a dead woman called Ida Sessions, and it was Jack Nicholson who was riffling through it: Social Security Card; Screen Actors Guild Membership; two-dollar bill. I was maybe 12 or 13 and had never even set foot in America, but like anyone in the English-speaking world who watched way too many movies, I felt I knew the country like the back of my hand. Certainly its currency, which seemed more like real money than the colorful, monopoly notes we used, so often had I seen it brimming out of briefcases, left contemptuously on nightstands or fluttering down like green confetti after an explosion. But I had never seen a two-dollar bill, so that, of all things, was the detail that snagged my attention the first time I watched Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown.”

5 Things You Might Not Know About 'Bonnie & Clyde'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 14, 2012 3:05 PM
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  • 1 Comment
It's almost impossible to overstate the influence of Arthur Penn's "Bonnie & Clyde." It wasn't alone as one of the film breaking down the walls of a "new cinema" -- Michaelangelo Antonioni's "Blow Up" had turned heads the previous year, and Mike Nichols' "The Graduate" helped with the impression of the changing of the guard when it followed a few months later. But it was Penn's film (written by journalists Robert Benton and David Newman, with a polish from Robert Towne and produced by Warren Beatty), which told the story of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, the Depression-era bank robbing duo, that really felt like the lightning strike, bringing the techniques, sexuality, violence and cool-factor of European cinema to a mainstream audience for the first time.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Roman Polanski's 'Chinatown'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • June 20, 2012 12:00 PM
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  • 8 Comments
Is there such a thing as a perfect film? Perhaps. You could certainly argue that personal taste plays into the question of perfection too much -- one man's triumph is another's disaster. And even so, there are so many possible things that can go wrong with a film -- one duff performance, one ill-conceived shot, one poorly-written scene -- that it's almost an impossible task. But dammit if we don't consider "Chinatown" to be as close as you can get to being perfect.

Faye Dunaway Elegantly Covers Cannes Film Festival Poster With Photo By Jerry Schatzberg

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 4, 2011 1:17 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Restored 'Puzzle Of A Downfall Child' To Screen At CannesLast year, it was Juliette Binoche, and this year another acclaimed actress is featured front on center on the beautiful official poster for the Cannes Film Festival.

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