If you like the movie Chinatown
(and what self-respecting Angeleno doesn't?), here's an interesting article
on the film's 30 year reunion. Most of the principals were there, sans Roman Polanski
, natch, who's still on the lam from a child-sex charge, and they shared some interesting behind- the-scenes stories.
I love this movie. I love it because of it's painstaking recreation of L.A. in the 30's, a sun-kissed town that was still a frontier in so many ways. The scene in which Gittes and his operative paddle about on Echo Park lake
while spying on a suspected adulterer makes me wish (even more than usual) that I could see L.A. back then, just for a day. An L.A. before freeways, before smog, before , even, the San Fernando Valley was transformed from a idyllic citrus orchard into a sprawling wasteland of ranch homes and strip malls.
Of course, Los Angeles was not a Edenic paradise then, anymore than now. This city attracts a certain type of person who, like the film's Mulholland
avatar Noah Cross, view the acquisition of power as an end which jusitfies any means. They're still working for the DWP, or the studios, or the big developers, or in City Hall.
They're as endemic to Los Angeles as the coyotes who prowl the hills, the hawks that patrol the skies, or the corrupt police who turn their heads as they pocket a bribe. They'll always be with us, as unmovable as the San Gabriel mountains.
The movie's famous last line says it all: "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."