Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 23, 2017, 03:02:43 PM
Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
News:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Other/Miscellaneous
| |-+  Off-Topic Discussion (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  Chinatown (1974)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 10 Go Down Print
Author Topic: Chinatown (1974)  (Read 30638 times)
titoli
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8010



View Profile
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2008, 06:21:08 PM »

Its canonization is a mystery to me.

Canonization I think is something I link to the pro critics. Popular is something I refer to the general public. I doubt this prefer TD to SW, though I presume it is difficult to make such evaluations.

Logged

dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13637

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2008, 07:57:08 PM »

More Leoneine moments in Chinatown:

Late in the picture, Jake goes to the abandoned Mullray house and calls Noah Cross and asks him to come over. An hour later, Cross slinks in. The two have a discussion in a fairly tight two-shot. The pair would appear to be alone, but at one point Cross gives a command to Claude, his muscle. Suddenly the other man's arm thrusts into frame, seemingly coming from nowhere. In the real world, there is no way the guy could have surprised Jake like that: this appears to be another example of the technique SL used in GBU: people and things outside of frame are not visible to the people on screen until those people or things enter the frame.

Burt Young performs in the first scene of the movie, then disappears. Almost 2 hours later, after we've long forgotten about him, he suddenly re-enters the story. Burt Young is Polanski's Al Mullock!

Once you start looking, the hand of the Master is everywhere.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for getting out of bed this morning.
Silenzio
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2905



View Profile
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2008, 11:01:43 PM »

If you ask the question "what was the best American film of the 70's" most people would say Godfather or Taxi Driver as their answer.

Actually, I'd go for Crapola's other big movie... Apocalypse Now.

Logged
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Online Online

Posts: 12611


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2008, 11:02:12 PM »

Burt Young performs in the first scene of the movie, then disappears. Almost 2 hours later, after we've long forgotten about him, he suddenly re-enters the story. Burt Young is Polanski's Al Mullock!

Once you start looking, the hand of the Master is everywhere.

Good observation Afro

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13637

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2009, 11:03:24 AM »

Absolutely spot-on:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204261704574274152752739772.html

Quote
The Perfect Film Score
At 35, Goldsmith’s ‘Chinatown’ sounds better than ever


By TERRY TEACHOUT

New York

Does film music really matter to the average moviegoer? A great score, after all, can’t save a bad film, and a bad score--so it’s said--can’t sink a good one. Well into the ’40s, it wasn’t uncommon for big-budget Hollywood movies to contain little or no underscoring, and many of today’s directors, following the lead of Martin Scorsese in “GoodFellas,” accompany their films with pop records, not original music. So why bother hiring a high-priced composer and a 50-piece orchestra to crank out a commodity that next to nobody notices?

One word: “Chinatown.”

Roman Polanski’s stark tale of political and moral corruption in Los Angeles, which came out 35 years ago last month, is one of the undisputed classics of a bright decade in American filmmaking. In “Chinatown,” Mr. Polanski and Robert Towne, who wrote the school-of-Raymond-Chandler screenplay, took the disillusioned, shadow-dappled cinematic language of ’40s film noir and translated it into contemporary terms. Every neo-noir film released since then has borrowed from “Chinatown,” which looks as fresh today as it did in 1974. Yet a preview audience hated it, and studio executives were sure that it would bomb at the box office—until Jerry Goldsmith, working against the clock, wrote a brand-new score that helped turn a costly disaster into an unforgettable hit.

Goldsmith, who died five years ago, was one of the most admired composer-craftsmen in Hollywood, a pupil of Miklos Rozsa who scored 170 films, many of them successful (“Basic Instinct,” “Patton,” “Planet of the Apes”) but few of which were artistically distinguished. “Chinatown” was by far the best of the lot, and if you want to understand how film music works, you can’t do better than to pay close attention to Goldsmith’s score. Unfortunately, the soundtrack album has been out of print for years—used copies of the CD now sell for as much as $125—but the music comes through clearly on the remastered DVD version of “Chinatown.” To listen to Goldsmith’s score is to realize what first-rate music can contribute to the total effect of a first-rate film.

The score to “Chinatown” features a highly unorthodox instrumental lineup: one trumpet, four pianos, four harps, two percussionists and a string section. At first glance that looks like the sort of ensemble from which you’d expect to hear a piece of avant-garde classical music, and some parts of the “Chinatown” score are startlingly modern-sounding. But the film opens with an elegiac yet sensuous trumpet solo that floats freely over a cushion of tolling harps and brooding strings, a “love theme” that evokes the doomed romance of Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, the film’s stars. Uan Rasey, the celebrated Hollywood studio trumpeter heard on the soundtrack, later told an interviewer that Arthur Morton, Goldsmith’s arranger, “told me to play it sexy—but like it’s not good sex!”

The tension between the dark romanticism of the string-accompanied love theme and the crisp, bristly clatter of pianos and percussion is what gives Goldsmith’s spare score its powerfully individual quality. Though “Chinatown” runs for 131 minutes, it contains only 23 minutes of music—but every note counts. Instead of the usual wall-to-wall underscoring, Goldsmith saves his fire for the film’s key moments, allowing most of Mr. Towne’s Chandleresque dialogue to be heard “in the clear.” The result is a score so intense and concentrated that it can be listened to independent of the film with equal pleasure.

It isn’t unusual for movies to be rescored under pressure, but Goldsmith’s music for “Chinatown” is so well suited to the film that it’s hard to imagine that he knocked it out at the very last minute. The original score, written by the classical composer Phillip Lambro, was heard on the soundtrack of the version of the film that was shown seven weeks prior to the film’s release date at a preview in San Luis Obispo, a small town north of Los Angeles. “By the time the lights came up, half the audience had walked out, scratching their heads,” Robert Evans, the producer of “Chinatown,” wrote in “The Kid Stays in the Picture,” his 1994 autobiography. Concluding that Mr. Lambro’s “dissonant, weird, scratchy” music (as Mr. Towne would later describe it) was responsible for the film’s poor reception, Mr. Evans called in Goldsmith, and 10 days later “Chinatown” had a new score. Mr. Towne, who was present at the first recording session for Goldsmith’s score, later told a journalist that “you could see the movie come to life. It was like you couldn’t see the movie with the other score, and now you could, and I thought, ‘Omigod, we may have a chance.’”

So it did: “Chinatown” is now universally acknowledged as one of the key American films of the ’70s. Yet most of the critics ignored the score, and though Jerry Goldsmith received an Oscar nomination for “Chinatown,” he lost out to Nino Rota for “The Godfather, Part II.” Nowadays, of course, film connoisseurs don’t need to be told twice that the music of “Chinatown” is central to its greatness—but how many people are aware that Goldsmith’s score is one of the finest compositions of the postwar era, regardless of genre? If only he’d thought to turn it into a 15-minute-long tone poem for orchestra! Perhaps some talented arranger will do the job for him posthumously. I can’t think of another piece of American music written in 1974 that I’d rather see programmed by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony or Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic—even if it was written in Hollywood in 10 days flat.
—Mr. Teachout, the Journal’s drama critic, writes “Sightings” every other Saturday and blogs about the arts at www.terryteachout.com.

Write to Terry Teachout at tteachout@wsj.com

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for getting out of bed this morning.
stanton
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2936



View Profile
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2009, 12:22:42 PM »

A perfect film for me.

Polanski's last great film and also his best. Chinatown has aged better than his classics of the 60s.

Logged

Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2009, 12:47:18 PM »

I thought it was a great if you watch once kind of film - I quite liked it when I watched it (two months ago I believe), but I doubt I'd get much out of a rewatch. One of the few movies I like Nicholson in, at least; Polanski did a good job of keeping his usual hambone excesses in check. Always nice to see the great Roy Jenson, of course.

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13637

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2009, 03:04:44 PM »

It's a film I've watched many times, and will watch many times more, due in large part to the music.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for getting out of bed this morning.
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13637

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #23 on: August 30, 2009, 05:06:33 PM »

Hmm, I wonder what's on the second disc: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B002HK9HR8/

The Blu-ray must certainly be on its way as well.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for getting out of bed this morning.
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13637

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2009, 03:13:43 PM »

Ah-ha! http://www.dvdtimes.co.uk/content.php?contentid=71078

The commentary sounds like it could be interesting, especially if Fincher is there to ask pertinent questions to keep Towne on track.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for getting out of bed this morning.
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13637

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #25 on: September 28, 2009, 08:38:40 PM »

The new DVD edition is better than the one issued ten years ago (I didn't get the 2007 release); it's sharper, with a sliver more of info at the bottom



The new commentary is a bit of a disappointment. Occasionally Towne or Fincher make an interesting comment, but very few over the course of the film's running time.

Now I guess I'm waiting for the Blu-ray.

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for getting out of bed this morning.
The Firecracker
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 9672


Rub me the wrong way, and I'll go off in your face


View Profile
« Reply #26 on: October 05, 2009, 09:47:58 PM »

Its canonization is a mystery to me.

^ I take this back.

I saw it again, over the summer, and thought it was brilliant.
Some of the greatest movies of all time are very underwhelming upon initial viewing.

Logged



The Official COMIN' AT YA! re-release site
http://cominatyanoir3d.com/
dave jenkins
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 13637

"One banana, two banana, three banana, four...."


View Profile
« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2009, 09:11:34 AM »

You're talking about Taxi Driver?

Logged


That's what you get, Drink, for getting out of bed this morning.
The Firecracker
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 9672


Rub me the wrong way, and I'll go off in your face


View Profile
« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2009, 11:15:09 PM »

You're talking about Taxi Driver?

Yeah.

Chinatown I always liked.

Logged



The Official COMIN' AT YA! re-release site
http://cominatyanoir3d.com/
noodles_leone
Bounty Killer
*****
Online Online

Posts: 5057


Lonesome Billy


View Profile WWW
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2009, 12:51:12 AM »

^ I take this back.

I saw it again, over the summer, and thought it was brilliant.
Some of the greatest movies of all time are very underwhelming upon initial viewing.

The fact you didn't love taxi driver had always been a mistery to me.
Telling the truth, I was bored the first time i saw it. I loved it from the 3rd viewing.

Logged


New music video: ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE https://youtu.be/p968oyMo5B0
www.ThibautOskian.com
Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 10 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.062 seconds with 19 queries.