I have a few very beat up contact sheets from the 1974 Polanski/Towne/Nicholson masterpiece Chinatown. Colour contact sheets are usually softer than b&w, unfortunately these are even softer than usual and I’ve sharpened them as best I could. A lot of these shots are variations on the released photos used for publicity etc. At the bottom are a few shots of them filming the famous “sister/daughter” scene.
These are the last of the photos I have that I thought people might want to see, a little of Polanski’s cameo, a nice few shots from a Dunaway/Nicholson scene, and some shots of them filming the ending.
Previously on Cinephilia and Beyond:
Clive James Meets Roman Polanski — a rare TV documentary filmed in 1984. Running 53 minutes and encompassing a wide variety of topics Polanski speaks frankly about his childhood in the Warsaw ghetto, his mothers death, his beginnings in filmmaking, his tragic marriage to Sharon Tate and eventually even his arrest for sexual assault. For fans of Polanski this DVD is worth purchasing for this insightful little documentary alone.
There’s also a great, revealing interview Polanski had conducted with Diane Sawyer in 1994. If you’re at all interested in the stories which surround his post-1977 life, this is a must-watch:
Roman Polanski works out a shot of Catherine Deneuve for Repulsion.
Watch a Rare Interview With Roman Polanski & Diane Sawyer From 1994: In 1967 producer Robert Evans bribed a young Polish director Roman Polanski to read Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby with the promise of a ski trip if he enjoyed it as much as Evans thought he might. And of course, we all know how history followed from there. So after going on to make Chinatown and becoming one of the most beloved new filmmakers of the decade and a marriage to one of the most beautiful women in the world, Polanski’s life changed with the blink of an eye. After the horrific Manson murders that robbed him of a wife and his happiness, it was almost a decade later in 1977 when he was arrested for the sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl. His story has been told through films like Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out, and Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir but in a rare 1994 interview with Diane Sawyer we see the Polish director give his first interview in a decade prior to that, in which he talks about everything from the death of Sharon Tate to his exile. See for yourself below.
Top 10 Charlie Rose Interviews of Film Directors.
Lucky for us Charlie Rose is a huge movie buff and he conducts the best interviews with film directors. Charlie’s interviews go beyond the generic interviews that directors usually do to promote their movies, and he asks the great questions that film aficionados want to hear. A few interviews are conducted with people who knew the filmmaker closely for the great directors Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick. Enjoy these interviews with some of cinema’s great artists.
George Lucas sits down for an hour long conversation with Charlie Rose in this interview and chronologically goes through his moviemaking career from his days at USC film school up to creating the Star Wars prequels. He talks about his financial and technological struggles to get his visions on the big screen and how he has finally attained financial independence as an artist to create the movies he wants to make without having to answer to anyone. George also passes on his wisdom about storytelling, education, artistry, and parenting.
As the undisputed “Master of Suspense”, Alfred Hitchcock left behind a large body of work that continually explored the darker depths of the human heart. Here, Charlie Rose talks with the director’s daughter Patricia along with noted film director/historian Peter Bogdanovich on the centennial of his Hitchcock’s birth. Topics include Hitchcock’s dogged attention to detail, his writing methods, which films of his own he preferred best, and where he ranks with the great masters of cinema history.
Known as “Iron Jim” to friends and critics alike, James Cameron rose from humble beginnings as a truck driver to become the “King of the World” with his mega-blockbuster Titanic. Here Charlie Rose talks with the director at length about what went into making the most expensive film ever made, and how he managed to balance historical fact with romantic fiction. Cameron’s talent for managing complex productions that still strike a chord with a broad audience has made him one of the most successful filmmakers in the modern era; a feat no less incredible when you consider how much his ambition grows from picture to picture.
Capturing a key moment in history, this interview with Steve Jobs and John Lassetter catches both visionaries at the birth of what would become the most successful animation studio in recent history. After purchasing Pixar in 1986, shortly after his initial ouster from Apple, Jobs helped shepherd Lassetter and his team towards the first digitally animated movie, Toy Story, a box-office success that was followed by a string of hits that has not let up to date. Watch for an interesting moment near the end where Jobs tactfully dodges Charlie Rose’s question about a possible return to Apple; and even that actually did come to pass later that same year!
Coming off the wild success of his independent film breakout hit Pulp Fiction, super cool film director Quentin Tarantino sits down with Charlie Rose and talks about his craft and where his career is going to go from here. Tarantino talks about his childhood watching movies and his days as a video store clerk. He discusses his unorthodox way of storytelling, his method of writing, and his love of following the careers of film directors of which he mentions his favorites. Finally he talks about his first two films Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction. Watch film geek Tarantino enthusiastically riff on his love of movies.
With a photographer’s eye, a philosopher’s curiosity, and a searing intellect, Stanley Kubrick’s films have cut a distinctive path through cinematic history with a scope that is still hard to estimate. Here Charlie Rose talks with the late director’s widow Christiane, his lifelong friend Jan Harland, and adds modern master Martin Scorsese into the mix to round out the table. Christiane Kubrick provides heartwarming insight on their marriage, while Harland and Scorsese weigh in on why Kubrick’s films such as 2001, The Shining, and Dr. Strangelove continue to provoke, compel, and stimulate new generations of filmgoers.
In this interview, filmmaker Roman Polanski speaks about filmmaking, personal tragedy, and the legal trouble that has kept him from returning to the United States. Charlie Rose does not shy away from confronting the director of such classics as Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown on why he hasn’t faced the legal ramifications of a rape charge that made him flee for Europe in 1977. Polanski also reflects on the loss of his mother at Auschwitz, his lonely childhood in war-torn Poland, losing his wife in the Manson family murders, and his current life as a French citizen.
Director Oliver Stone is known for his political and historical films and in this interview with Charlie Rose, Stone talks about his film Nixon. Stone gives us his interpretation of the man Nixon and covers some of the more controversial aspects of his film. He also gives us his philosophy on drama and its ability to convey the shadow side of history which is often not the version put into the history books. Get a history lesson from Oliver Stone with this hour long talk about Nixon.
Director Tim Burton talks with Charlie Rose about his recent film and art exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. In the first 10 minutes MOMA’s exhibit curators talk about putting on the exhibition. Then Burton discusses some of his sketches and talks about how he went from being a weird and quiet teenager to a filmmaker extraordinaire. Burton talks about his love of masks and how they bring out new aspects in his performers such as with Jack Nicholson made up as the Joker in his film Batman or Johnny Depp in the wide variety of outfits he has suited up for in many Burton films. Burton feels that all kids are artists and doodlers up to about age 12, but then for various reason these creative instincts are suppressed as people get older, and both Tim and Charlie find this unfortunate.
German film director Werner Herzog sits down with Charlie Rose in this 23 minute interview and discusses his prolific filmmaking career. Herzog gives some insight into the making of his film Fitzcarraldo about which he recently published his personal diaries in a book called Conquest of the Useless. He talks about his philosophy of filmmaking and his search for the “ecstatic truth” when it comes to the many documentaries that he has shot over the years. Herzog also addresses his talent for bringing out the best in actors such as his unique gift for harnessing the talent of German actor Klaus Kinski.
Polanski’s first completed student short at the State Film School in Łódź, Poland. Murder (1957) presents the viewer with just one scene: a man walks into an apartment and stabs another man who is sleeping. Reminiscent of a particularly violent moment from a fifties film noir, the sheer audacity of the piece is remarkable. Completely silent, without even musical accompaniment, the viewer can’t help but be drawn into the action which is immensely shocking even though it’s over almost as soon as it begins.
“Ssaki”, Roman Polanski (1963)
Larry Dubois, Playboy Interview: Roman Polanski, December 1971. Polanski discuss his latest film, Macbeth, as well as the murder of his pregnant wife Sharon Tate by followers of Charles Manson and other matters.
After the murders, everything I was considering seemed futile to me. I couldn’t think of a subject that seemed worthwhile or dignified enough to spend a year or more on it, in view of what happened to me. That may sound extremely pompous, but I couldn’t make another suspense story. And I certainly couldn’t make a comedy: I couldn’t make a casual film. In the state of mind I found myself, this type of project seemed most acceptable… I always had this great desire to make a Shakespearean movie someday, and when I finally decided I must go back to work, I thought to myself: “That’s something I could do, that’s something I could give myself to. That’s worth the effort.
Clive James Meets Roman Polanski – A rare TV documentary filmed in 1984. Running 46 minutes and encompassing a wide variety of topics Polanski speaks frankly about his childhood in the Warsaw ghetto, his mothers death, his beginnings in filmmaking, his tragic marriage to Sharon Tate and eventually even his arrest for sexual assault. For fans of Polanski this DVD is worth purchasing for this insightful little documentary alone.
Scene By Scene — Roman Polanski (2000). Polanski gives a masterclass on the making of Chinatown. Hear why he believes it to be his best film, and learn the stories behind his approach to script construction, mise en scene, directing difficult actors, and unhappy endings.
Previously on Cinephilia and Beyond:
Roman Polanski thanks NYFF for the KNIFE IN THE WATER screening that launched his career
“now i am an old jerk, and you at 50 are still vibrant, relevant, and as important to filmmakers around the world as you were when we first met.”
say what you will about the man (somewhere else, please), but dude sure knows how to read a cue card underneath some smooth jazz. as for Knife in the Water? it still holds up as one of the greatest feature debuts in film history / one of the greatest feature debuts in film history that’s in desperate need of a Criterion blu-ray.
Such a great poster for one of the best films ever.
Czech Poster for Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)
Previously on Cinephilia & Beyond: Chinatown Commentary Track With Screenwriter Robert Towne And David Fincher + copy of an actual Chinatown shooting script
This is a copy of an actual Chinatown shooting script. The Adobe Acrobat file is somewhat large because it’s an image rather than a text file, so save it to your desktop, read it at your leisure, and if you’d like print it for your script library. This document may be difficult to read in places and it doesn’t reflect correct spec (or reading) script format, but it’s an opportunity for beginning screenwriters to see what an original shooting script looks like.
According to the industry’s most-respected screenwriters, this script reflects some of the best writing in the history of film. —Lex Williford
(NOTE: All material for educational purposes only)
Roman Polanski gives a masterclass on the making of Chinatown. Hear why he believes it to be his best film, and learn the stories behind his approach to script construction, mise en scene, directing difficult actors, and unhappy endings.
Full program: Scene By Scene – Roman Polanski