Tag Archives: Jack Nicholson

Filmhouse announces Jack Nicholson season

We’re about to be spoiled with another fantastic classic film season in Edinburgh, this one devoted to Jack Nicholson’s lengthy career.

The retrospective season will run through November and December and showcase films that explore the depths of Nicholson’s career spanning over five decades, including Chinatown, Easy Rider, The Shining, The Crossing Guard, The Last Detail, Reds, The Passenger and The King of Marvin Gardens.

Out of that little lot I’ve yet to see The Crossing Guard, The Last Detail or Reds, so hopefully I’ll make it along for the one-off screenings. I’d like to have seen 1989’s Batman in there, but you can’t have it all.

As for the others, there’s not a duffer among them, and I was particularly impressed by The King of Marvin Gardens when I saw it at Filmhouse earlier this year, even if I did miss most of the visual references noted in this Guardian article.

I was also lucky enough to watch Chinatown in Los Angeles in 2012 as part of the TCM Classic Film Festival, where I recorded this short introduction to the film with its writer, Robert Towne, and producer, Robert Evans. They spent around fifteen minutes discussing the evolution of the film with TCM host, Robert Osborne at the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.

Full details of the Jack Nicholson season are now up on the Filmhouse website.

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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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