8 January 2021
A thoroughly researched introduction complete with a quiz and a Powerpoint presentation. Bruce has taken the film presentation to a new level. Bruce's choosen director is Roman Polanski and the film is Chinatown made in 1974 nominated for 10 Ocars and won one for best screenplay.
Roman Polanski is famous as a film director but is perhaps more infamously known becuase of events in his personal life. His second wife was murdered in 1969 by Charles Manson when she was 8 months pregnant, He posthumously named his son Paul Richard Polanski. He was then arrested in 1977 for the rape of a 13 year old girl. Ultimately he fled the US to avoid sentencing and has lived in France ever since. As a french national he cannot be extradited to the US. In 1989 he married French actress Emmanuelle Seigner. He has made a financial settlement with his rape victim in 1997 although she still claims she is owed $600k from the settlement. I wonder when someone is going to make a film of his life!
Back to the film. Chinatown is set in 1937 and has Jack Nicholson playing a private investigator who specialises in exposing cheating spouses. He is hired by "Mrs Mulwray" to discover what her husband is up to. Mr Mulwray is murdered, the real Mrs Mulwray is identfied (Faye Dunaway) and Jack Nicholson gets a bloody nose for being nosy because the plot does not make any sense. The plot get's even more complicated when Faye Dunaway introduces her rich dad and her sister who is also her daughter.
There was clever detail in the film - in particular I like the reflection in the lens of the camera - see below. The only scene that was set in Chinatown was the final scene of the film - so why was it called Chinatown? The film did drag in places but is widely recognised as one of the top rated films of the 70's. Club voting was promising to start with even though no additional marks could be provided for the excellent introduction scores were up to 75%. However one outlier score from the previous host brought the overall average down to 65%.