Cinema Dissection: Chinatown

Cinema Dissection: Chinatown

April 13, 2024

Film Talks

What makes for a perfect neo-noir? Is it a period setting? Is it a modern engagement and appraisal of film noir’s tropes and themes? Or is it just the basic act of filmmakers paying homage to the classic crime flicks of the 1940s and 1950s? What even is neo-noir? Well, Chinatown is the perfect neo-noir. Director Roman Polanski took Robert’s Towne’s dark, labyrinthine script and fashioned one of the best films to emerge from New Hollywood. 

Join facilitator and SIFF Programmer Dan Doody on a scene-by-scene investigation into dames, bribery, corruption, and murder, all leading to one of cinema’s most iconic final lines, “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.”

SIFF year-round passes and vouchers are not valid for this event.


Select showtime for pricing and tickets.

Saturday, April 13, 2024


Saturday, April 13, 2024
10:00am–4:00pm PT
SIFF Film Center
$25 Sustainer | $20 Regular | $15 Member


Cinema Dissection affords film lovers an exciting opportunity to dig deeper into the films that they love. Inspired by Roger Ebert's annual Cinema Interruptus in Boulder, CO, attendees will participate with a facilitator in a six-hour scene-by-scene, and sometimes shot-by-shot, deconstruction of the featured film. While the facilitator will certainly share their thoughts, anyone in the audience may call out "Stop" and either ask a question of the group or make an observation around a certain shot or moment in the film.

About the Instructor: Dan Doody

About the Instructor:

A Seattle-area native, Dan Doody received a degree in English from Western Washington University, and began working for the Seattle International Film Festival in 1999. He programs both features and short films for the festival, serving on the WTF! committee and as the festival's lead coordinator for its Oscar® qualifying ShortsFest section. He is an enthusiast of the gothic in both film and literature, the pagan-haunted pastorals found in English ghost stories, and the seedy streets of film noir. He could quite happily live in a crumbling castle so long as it was within walking distance of a neon-lit diner on a rain-slicked city boulevard.