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Old June 18th, 2001, 03:55 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 1,159
Oh. Context. Okay. In Chinatown, Jake Gittes is a PI interested in the mysterious death of Mulwray, head of the L.A. Dept. of Water and Power. His investigation (let's call it snooping) leads him to Mulwray's widow, Evelyn, and her father, Noah Cross, a man who is politically powerful. Turns out that Evelyn has a grown daughter whose father is Evelyn's father, Noah Cross. The final scene takes place in Chinatown. Evelyn and Noah are arguing over the daughter on the street, it's night, and Jake and the cops are there. Evelyn takes off in a convertible, her daughter in the passenger seat, one of the cops fires, and a horn sounds. Evelyn has been shot in the eye and her head has fallen forward onto the horn. The daughter is screaming. All arrive at the bloody scene in the middle of the street, and in a horrifying moment, Noah Cross takes the daughter into his arms and pulls her away. Jake--engulfed now in rage and grief--makes a move, but one of the cops hold him back and says, "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown." This is the final line of the film, and it is filled with meaning--that power, money, corruption make Jake (and all of us) victims.
We must travel in the direction of our fear. --John Berryman
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