Tag Archives: Chinatown

Chinatown Q&A at TCM Classic Film Festival 2012

Robert Evans, Robert Towne, and Robert Osborne discussing Chinatown on Friday at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, California

Robert Evans, Robert Towne, and Robert Osborne discussing Chinatown on Friday at the 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood, California

In another post on this site I mentioned that Edinburgh’s Filmhouse cinema is about to embark on a season of Roman Polanski films, featuring around a dozen of his films including 1974’s Chinatown.

I also mentioned that I was fortunate to attend a screening of Chinatown in Hollywood in April 2012 as part of the TCM Classic Film Festival. In attendance were the film’s writer, Robert Towne, and producer, Robert Evans, who spent around fifteen minutes discussing the evolution of the film with TCM host, Robert Osborne.

Towne explained that Evans had originally requested he adapt F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby for the screen, but that he didn’t want to do it. “We were having dinner at Dominick’s on Beverly Boulevard and Evans was trying to figure out why I didn’t want to do Gatsby,” noted Towne. “I told him [about Chinatown]. Bob said ‘I don’t understand a goddamned thing but I do like the title’. He got all of us in there who knew each other and cared about each other so that we could fight and have a good time.”

I captured the audio on my iPhone from a number of rows back in Grauman’s Chinese Theatre before settling back to enjoy the film. The file has been sitting gathering virtual dust on my phone since then.

As far as I know there was no ban on recording audio and no intention has been made to infringe any sort of copyright, so hopefully the lovely team at TCM won’t mind me publishing it here for Polanski/Chinatown fans to listen to….

Listen to the Q&A on Audioboo

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Roman Polanski season at Filmhouse

Last year I attended a screening of Roman Polanski’s 1974 crime classic, Chinatown, at the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre, an event which found an audience of a thousand or so film lovers enraptured by Jack Nicholson’s performance and a suitably complex plot.

Set in the Los Angeles of 1937, Chinatown centres on Jake Gittes’ (Nicholson) investigation into the extra-marital affair of Evelyn Mulwray’s (Faye Dunaway) husband. The investigation soon spirals into other directions involving corruption and family issues involving Mulwray’s father, played by the towering John Huston.

At the time I decided to see more Polanski films at the cinema but the opportunity hasn’t arisen until now, with Edinburgh’s Filmhouse about to screen a number of them from this weekend.

Filmhouse begins its Polanski season tomorrow with eight of his short films before going on to show Knife in the Water (1962), Cul-de-sac (1966), Macbeth (1971), Repulsion (1965) and Dance of the Vampires (1967).

That’s only the start however, with the print programme noting that next month we’re getting Rosemary’s Baby (1968), The Tenant (1976), Death and the Maiden (1994), Chinatown (1974), Tess (1979), The Pianist (2002), Oliver Twist (2005), The Ghost (2010) and Carnage (2011).

Hopefully I’ll be able to make it along to a few of these and I’d recommend watching out for Chinatown if nothing else – full details can be found on the Filmhouse website.

Watch the Chinatown trailer on YouTube

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