Chinatown: An Aesthetic Analysis

This paper is an aesthetic analysis of the movie, “Chinatown”.

This paper describes various scenes ,such as the exchange between Gittes and Cross, which takes over five minutes, much longer than today’s standard scene length, particularly for a scene with nothing but conversation; however, the conflict between Cross and Gittes and their constant give-and-take fills the scene with tension. The author describes another scene in which Polanski trains the camera on Gittes’s face as he looks down on Cross; Gittes appears hesitant, and the shot serves to highlight his injured nose. When Gittes takes his hat off and sits down, there is no doubt in the audience’s mind who is in control of the situation. The paper concludes that Chinatown is a richly-layered movie in a classic ‘film noir’ tradition.
The scene is short and moves quickly. Roman Polanski reveals volumes about Jake Gittes by juxtaposing the detective with the client. Curly, dressed in work clothes, is sweating in the intense heat. He is crying and in his distress, he bites into the Venetian blinds. Gittes, on the other hand, is dressed in a crisp white suit. Despite the apparent heat the fan is on Gittes looks cool and, in contrast to his client, unperturbed. The detective calms his distraught client down with a joke (You can’t eat the Venetian blinds. I just had ’em installed on Wednesday). Then he reaches into the liquor cabinet, quickly shuffles through the whiskey bottles and pulls out a cheaper bottle of bourbon and pours his client a drink.