Wednesday, March 08, 2006

ask the dust

I can think of no better way to celebrate sending off my final draft later this week than to catch the film adaptation of one of L.A.'s classic novels, John Fante's Ask the Dust. After the Oscars on Sunday, I'm excited to see Salma Hayek in just about anything. I'll try my best to approach Colin Farrell as Bandini with an open mind. Opening Friday, the film is directed by Robert Towne, most well known for writing the Chinatown script. Rake's Progress points to an interview with Towne here:

CS: You discovered this book while you were researching "Chinatown" and it is cut from the same depression-era 30s LA cloth. What appeals to you about that era?

Towne: Remember, the two films were part of the same inspiration. When I decided I wanted to do "Chinatown" it was partly because of photographs I had seen taken in 1971 of bits and pieces of LA as if they were shot in the past. An old cream-colored Packard convertible in Pasadena. A private investigator's Plymouth convertible in the rain under a Wilshire streetlamp. Much of LA, I thought, in its own vulgar way, still had a kind of beauty that was almost gone and it filled me with a great sense of longing. That coupled with reading "Ask the Dust" and the memories that it jarred. It was great to deal with Los Angeles in its adolescence, growing, full of dreams…dreams that all too often would not come true.