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Chinatown

In cinemas 4 January

Roman Polanski’s silky film noir, now widely regarded as among the greatest of all American crime movies.

Working from Robert Towne’s brilliant, resonant script about all manner of venality and corruption in 30s LA, Polanski fashioned a silky film noir now widely regarded as among the greatest of all American crime movies.

Jack Nicholson is at his very best as private eye Jake Gittes, increasingly out of his depth as what initially seems a straightforward divorce assignment for the wealthy and beautiful Evelyn Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) turns into something far more mysterious, wide-reaching and dangerous. John Alonzo’s meticulous Scope camerawork evokes a seductive, sun-filled paradise built upon and concealing unthinkably murky foundations, a labyrinthine netherworld shaped by greed, political ambition, racial inequality and illicit desire.

Populated by an array of vivid characters played by a superb supporting cast that includes John Huston, Burt Young, Diane Ladd and – most memorably – the director himself, the city of angels is revealed to be a haven for monsters all too recognisably human. A dazzlingly intelligent film of great dramatic power and near-mythic import.

Geoff Andrew

Venues

17 April 2013
Prince Charles Cinema, London

21 April 2013
Chichester New Park Cinema, Chichester

21 and 24 April 2013
Cornerhouse, Manchester

23 April 2013
Hyde Park Picturehouse, Leeds

28 April 2013
Everyman Cinema, Baker Street, London

3 May 2013
Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford

12 May 2013
Everyman Cinema, Hampstead
The Rex, Berkhamsted

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