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Non-Review Review: Three Days of the Condor

Reflecting the political climate of the time, the seventies produced any number of high-quality conspiracy thrillers. I think what helps Three Days of the Condor stand above most of the rest is a great leading performance from Robert Redford at the height of his charisma, confident direction from Sydney Pollack and a rather clever central premise that feels interesting in its own right, rather than just a vehicle to create a palpable sense of paranoia.

Branching out...

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Non-Review Review: Chinatown

“You may think you know what’s you’re dealing with,” a character warns private detective Jack Gittes at one point during Chinatown“but, believe me, you don’t.” Later on, Gittes confesses to his lover that, when he was a police officer working in Chinatown, his beat consisted of doing “as little as possible”, an anecdote that screenwriter Robert Towne reportedly heard from an officer who had actually served in Chinatown – rather than an officer involving himself in some sort of event that he couldn’t possibly comprehend, the police would actively disengage themselves from the community. That’s the core of the corruption at the heart of Polanski’s film – how little anyone actually knows about what is really happening, and how it’s easy to ignore these things rather than attempting to deal with them.

A nosey detective...

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