Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thoughts On The 40th Anniversary Of “Chinatown”

This was the first film I reviewed for the
Student paper at UCLA.
I saw it in Westwood, took the bus home
But stopped along the way

On Sunset at The Eastern Star Home:
I didn’t want to have missed a
Chance to see what in the movie was
A rest home in Mar Vista.

(It’s now become The Archer School for Girls.
Competition to get in is obscene:
It’s the kind of place Evelyn Mulwray would’ve
Attended if she were now a teen.)

That evening, I talked to my parents as
The three of us had dinner.
We all realized the line between films &
Real life had gotten thinner.

Decades later, I drove out with my own family
To yet another “Chinatown” location ---
Big Tujunga Wash in the San Fernando Valley
Where J.J. Gittes did some investigation.

The dry bed where he looked for clues was
Still a swash of mud and silt
But on the mountains above it, a rather large
Development had been built.

The past (if you look hard enough) is still there
But the present’s fate I’ve found
Is always wanting --- not unlike Noah Cross ---
To try & throw its weight around.


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