Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown...

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 20 Aug 2001

Kevin wrote:

"They may not be MALTESE FALCON/CHINATOWN good, but several (some mentioned by Jim, some not), including TWILIGHT, NIGHT MOVES, THE CONVERSATION, THE DROWNING POOL, WHERE'S MARLOWE?, LOVE AT LARGE, MEMENTO and THE TWO JAKES have their defenders."

Ah, Night Moves!

Is it just a coincidence that several of these star Gene Hackman? I'd never thought of Conversation as a PI movie, but on reflection, that's exactly what it is, he's just a PI who specializes in eavesdropping. It's not too far behind Chinatown on my list of favorite movies of all time. I actually prefer it to the two Coppola films that bookend it, the Godfathers I and II.

I was kinda disappointed in Where's Marlowe? A friend had highly recommended it. And it stars Miguel Ferrer, a guy I always thought had cynical PI attitude to spare, so I was looking forward to seeing him actually play one. However, the movie never decided if it was a postmodern deconstruction of the documentary film process or of the PI genre, so it failed at both goals. Worse yet, it wasn't nearly as funny as it thought it was. Still, I must admit there were a lot of good bits, not the least of which was that the filmmakers' first documentary looked at how LA got its water, just as Chinatown did.


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