Review of Chinatown (1974)

Moving picture, 130 minutes

Perfect neo-noir with generous tendrils into the history of Los Angeles and—via L.A.—Hollywood and the human ecology of the US West. The only real flaw is extradiegetic. In his depiction of Towne’s Noah Cross (two testaments in one name) as pure evil, Polanski pulled a sort of “Sailor Who Fell from Grace” trick, prefiguring his own megalomaniacal statutory rape of a child in 1977.

References here: Cadillac Desert (1997), L.A. Confidential (1997), The Black Dahlia (2006).

moving picture fiction