Let us now feel the love for Nena Eskridge, a wonderful writer, beautiful human being, and author of the superb script, The Last Stop, which was a recent Top Ten Favorite on TriggerStreet. It's the story of Jennifer Davis, a girl who was tortured as a child and grows up into a runaway, and she’s caught up in her own horrible cycle of violence, which she is trying so hard to escape. It's one of the few specs I've come across where the writer made a conscious choice to connect the first scene with the last in order to make a very specific statement about the protagonist. It’s great. I love her story.
In any case, below is Nena’s submission. She chose some unknown unloved uninteresting and poorly-written little movie called… Chinatown.
Subtext, huh? That's a tough one. In my own writing I never set out to do it, only recognize it after I've stumbled into it.
There's always Chinatown (by the great Robert Towne), which is packed with subtext. Below is one of many examples. For me, this scene was one of the most disturbing in any movie. Cross accuses Gittes of taking advantage of his daughter, the one HE molested and impregnated. Then, he asks Gittes if he's sleeping with her, when he clearly has been. Says she's a disturbed woman - who would know better since HE is responsible for her being disturbed. And last but not least, he pretty much sums up the theme of the entire movie by saying to Gittes, "You may think you know what you're dealing with -- but believe me, you don't."
Every line in Chinatown is memorable. Could watch that movie every day for the rest of my life. That one and The Collector. Don't get me going on that one.
It disturbs me, Mr. Gittes. It
makes me think you're taking my
daughter for a ride – financially
speaking, of course. How much are
you charging her?
My usual fee -- plus a bonus
if I come up with any results.
Are you sleeping with her? Come,
come, Mr. Gittes -- you don't have
to think about that to remember,
If you want an answer to that
question I can always put one
of my men on the job. Good
afternoon, Mr. Cross.
Mr. Gittes! You're dealing with
a disturbed woman who's lost her
husband. I don't want her taken
advantage of. Sit down.
-- You may think you know what
you're dealing with – but
believe me, you don't.