Chinatown

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Black Rose
 
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Chinatown

Postby Black Rose » 27 Feb 2012

More research could be done on the connections between Chinatown and MD.

It's been a while since I've seen the film, so this is all from memory and Wikipedia.

The movie Chinatown was obliquely about William Mulholland, and there's no way that the title of Mulholland Dr. itself is not a reference to the film. (Yes, it's a real road that looks down on the city, but there are other roads Lynch could have picked.)

Coco's dress is a slinky "Chinese" dress.

The film was set in 1937, and the "look" of MD is within 20 years of that date.

There's a strong incest subplot, where Faye Dunaway was raped by her father and had a child.

There's a lot of playing with identity and relationships.

At the end of the film, Faye Dunaway's character is killed and Jack Nicholson's character is told, "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown."

One of the odd things about "Chinatown" is that almost none of the film actually takes place in Chinatown. Muholland Dr. connects with the actual street better than "Chinatown" connects with the neighborhood.

And from the Wikipedia article: "Filmmaker David Lynch cites Chinatown as his favorite film score of all time."

I'm sure someone more familiar with both films could come up with more connections.

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Erskine
 
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Re: Chinatown

Postby Erskine » 28 Feb 2012

Never seen Chinatown, will now that you have me interested.

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ctyankee
 
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Re: Chinatown

Postby ctyankee » 24 Apr 2012

Black Rose wrote:More research could be done on the connections between Chinatown and MD.

It's been a while since I've seen the film, so this is all from memory and Wikipedia.

The movie Chinatown was obliquely about William Mulholland, and there's no way that the title of Mulholland Dr. itself is not a reference to the film. (Yes, it's a real road that looks down on the city, but there are other roads Lynch could have picked.)

Coco's dress is a slinky "Chinese" dress.

The film was set in 1937, and the "look" of MD is within 20 years of that date.

There's a strong incest subplot, where Faye Dunaway was raped by her father and had a child.

There's a lot of playing with identity and relationships.

At the end of the film, Faye Dunaway's character is killed and Jack Nicholson's character is told, "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown."

One of the odd things about "Chinatown" is that almost none of the film actually takes place in Chinatown. Muholland Dr. connects with the actual street better than "Chinatown" connects with the neighborhood.

And from the Wikipedia article: "Filmmaker David Lynch cites Chinatown as his favorite film score of all time."

I'm sure someone more familiar with both films could come up with more connections.


I'm pretty sure the website has some connections done years past by our friend Blu.

At first blush, Chinatown would seem to be an odd title for a film that is only in Chinatown for a few minutes. However, the heart of the story is the film's noir essence. A noir film shows the nightmare that there is no escape from. Jack's nightmare is his inability to not make the same critical mistake, once again. A tragedy occurred in Chinatown that caused a woman's death - one that got Gittes off of the police force (one way or the other). Now, yet again, he finds himself in Chinatown causing a woman's murder. What happens if Jake doesn't stop the Lieutenant from firing the shot? Does the girl die? We don't know but the result is that he tries to stop the gunshots and it ends up in her death. The more pragmatic side of things is Jake just doesn't learn. He seems smart but he's really not. It's like Noah Cross tells him ... 'you may think you know what's going on, but you really don't.' He's the guy that just doesn't learn. When it's laid out to him what the value of the water is, he's reading the Racing Form. When Mulwray tells the assembled that he is not going to make the dam, he says he is 'not going to make the same mistake twice.' Gittes is fated to be the man that does.

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Alacrates
 
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Re: Chinatown

Postby Alacrates » 30 Dec 2012

There are definitely quite a few connections with Polanski's Chinatown. One of the main ones is that they are both modern interpretations of the film noir genre.

You've got a lot of the others down already, but another one is the Japanese gardener at Adam's house - in the actual movie you see the gardener only briefly (but to me that alone was really reminiscent of Chinatown), but if you read the script for the pilot, the gardener was in fact Japanese and the scene is an obvious connection.

In the book "Beautiful Dark" on Lynch, Lynch says the line, "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown", "is just perfect." I think the way that the word itself becomes to tied up to a dark place tied to painful memories, and also sort of a hidden back story, is the same for Chinatown and Mulholland Drive.

Edit: Also, I'd say that the idea of a hidden back story of pain, and the theme of incest in Chinatown, lend some support to the theory that Diane was a victim of sexual abuse.

I notice that in the Shaw essay the first scene at Adam's house is where clues to Diane's history of abuse are revealed, having to do with the Gene the pool guy, etc. In Chinatown, the mystery is solved because of something the Japanese gardener says (and the clue is actually about the backyard pool being filled with salt water.)

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blu
 
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Re: Chinatown

Postby blu » 04 Jan 2013

Alacrates wrote:You've got a lot of the others down already, but another one is the Japanese gardener at Adam's house - in the actual movie you see the gardener only briefly (but to me that alone was really reminiscent of Chinatown), but if you read the script for the pilot, the gardener was in fact Japanese and the scene is an obvious connection.

And here he is!

Image


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