The 100 Greatest Films of all time – 10: Chinatown

by Daniel Suddes 

Chinatown (1974) –  Directed by: Roman Polanksi   Written by: Polanski (uncredited) and Robert Towne  Produced by: Robert Evans and C.O. Erickson   Starring:  Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Houston, and Diane Ladd Oscar Count: 1 (Best Original Screenplay for Robert Towne.  Also nominated for Best Actor (Nicholson), Best Actress (Dunaway), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound, and Best Picture.)

No one really understands Chinatown.

Most modern critics view the film as the last of the classic film noirs (released two decades outside the time period) and view it as the final word on noir. Everything that has come after Chinatown is only trying to be ironic and make a knowing film noir. Certainly, everything from Se7en to Who Framed Roger Rabbit have borrowed elements from this film, and have been blatant about what they were trying to do. Chinatown is not. Continue reading

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100 Greatest Films of all time – 11: Crimes and Misdemeanours

by Laurent Kelly

Crimes and Misdemeanours (1989)  Directed and written by: Woody Allen  Starring: Martin Landau, Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Alan Alda, Anjelica Huston, Claire Bloom  OSCAR COUNT (0) – Nominated for Director, Original Screenplay and Supporting Actor (Landau) 

Crimes and Misdemeanours portrays two loosely linked stories which each show how life affirming notions of virtue and morality serve no real function in a world ruled by the rich and powerful. What makes the film outstanding is that its narrative leads one to anticipate that a sense of justice will prevail only to then to subvert this tone with a cruel ending that mirrors the harsh nature of everyday society. That Allen’s script also manages to incorporate deft comedy within these tragic tales without nullifying the impact of the drama speaks volumes about how masterfully it is crafted. Continue reading