March 10, 2006 |
LOVERS of Los Angeles literature and especially the works of John Fante have long anticipated the arrival of the movie version of "Ask the Dust." That it was entrusted to Robert Towne, of "Chinatown" fame and keeper of a tradition of Southern California writers, has been a source of comfort and high hopes. Thirty years of gestation have produced a film of great beauty with unfulfilled promise -- a disappointment, but with much to recommend and be glad about.
March 5, 2006 |
Few screenwriters traverse California history with the surety of Robert Towne. Raised in San Pedro, he seems as wedded to the land as are the people he writes about. His Pacific Palisades home is surrounded by lush lawns, pepper trees and birds of paradise, and you can hear the backyard fountain from inside the house.
January 3, 2004 |
Screenwriter Robert Towne has struck a deal to develop a remake of the Alfred Hitchcock classic "The 39 Steps." The Hollywood veteran, who won an Oscar for 1974's "Chinatown" and was nominated for "The Last Detail," "Shampoo" and "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes," will write and direct the thriller for Carlton International Media, Daily Variety reported.
July 27, 2003 |
Remember the scene in "Chinatown" in which private eye Jake Gittes visits the morgue on his lunch hour to find out "who died lately"? If you listen closely, you can hear race announcer Joe Hernandez calling a Seabiscuit race from Santa Anita racetrack in the background. Later, there's a quick insert of a newspaper headline about the horse.
November 29, 2002
Robert Towne, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Chinatown," will chair the selection committee for the USC Scripter Award, which honors the year's best English-language film adaptation of a book or novella. Bestowed annually since 1989 by the USC Friends of the Libraries, the award is billed as the only honor that recognizes both the author and screenwriter for a film adaptation.
November 3, 2002 |
What sets a great screenwriter on his path? Picking up a lifetime achievement award from the writer's organization PEN West last month, Robert Towne ("Chinatown," "Shampoo," "Mission: Impossible") thought back to his beginnings. Here is an excerpt from his remarks. I grew up in a time when Los Angeles and screenwriting were viewed along similar lines -- the best thing about L.A.