Can you separate the art from the artist? Polanski's notoriety echoes the likes of Woody Allen; two visionaries accused of abhorrent crimes and misdemeanours. The critic must have objectivity, making sure that cultural baggage regarding the creator does not tamper the evaluation of a pre-existing art. For all the controversies surrounding Polanski that should be evaluated separately, this is a masterful noir.
Currently re-watching this - in HD for the first time. The production design, the costumes, obviously the casting, the score, the writing, the editing. Everything about it is stellar. Is this the best film made by Paramount? By Hollywood?
With Chinatown, Roman Polanski deftly toes the line between art-house and the American mainstream. The setting in 1930s Los Angeles is irresistible and Jack Nicholson is marvelous as the hardboiled private eye.
I've been watching Chinatown regularly since I was 14 and it gets better every time I see it. I can't think of a single thing wrong with it. The menacing score, the smarmy and cynical undertones of the script and the gorgeous cinematography all add up to cinematic perfection. I can't think of a time where anyone involved has been better.
I like my nose, I like breathing through it.
I'm not a quoter but Towne is cool enough to bring me to paraphrasing.
How great was the blend of Towne's cheeseball noir sensibilities and Polanski's hard edged realism?