Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Chinatown



‘Chinatown’ again last night.

New(ish) TV. New Blu-Ray player (though couldn’t watch the ‘Chinatown’ disc on it - my copy’s region 2 and haven’t figured out how to de-code Sylvania; so watched it on my perfectly acceptable forty-two dollar Phillips multi-region machine). No RGB cable (it’s connecting the Blu-Ray player). No HDMI cable (guy in the shop offered it to me first at $80, then said the cheapest he could do was $50. Went home, clicked three times, got one on amazon marketplace for less than two bucks. Should arrive tomorrow.) So, Region 2 ‘Chinatown’ using one awful lead - picture quality therefore reminded me of ‘Grindhouse’. Didn’t want to be reminded of ‘Grindhouse’.

‘Chinatown’. Probably for the tenth time. First time was a pan and scan late night ITV screening in about 1991. Second time was when I bought an early widescreen VHS copy, all gauzey - like when they put Vaseline on the lens to make an older actor look youthful, or to pretend that they’re dreaming. Got three or four viewings out of that tape. Then it was one of the first DVDs I ever owned. Now it’s the second generation UK DVD, apparently with a new transfer - though with one lead you can’t tell - but that’s my fault.

Ten times with a film is enough to make you complacent; but when it’s ‘Chinatown’ you could go on watching forever. I see new things in it every time. What I saw last night?

Politics.

Sex.

Violence.

The American Dream.

Cars.

Ambition.

Venetian blinds.

Sunshine.

Fish.

Throw in a bit of religion and you’d have the Great American Novel. Which is not far off saying that you might have America.

2 comments:

tom joad said...

http://www.theauteurs.com/dashboard

it's like facebook for film lovers.

and they stream some of their high quality films from their library for free.

Criterion Collection is also streaming some of their films on their website - for 5 bucks or less.

right then.

naomi said...

I just looked at both of the sites, and they look like lots of fun. I think I just found my Friday night plans! Thanks for posting the links, Tom.