The Conversation (1974) – Coppola
Not many people are aware of Francis Ford Coppola’s film, The Conversation. I suspect there are a few obvious reasons why the film is somewhat overlooked in Coppola’s oeuvre. For one, it was produced between the epic masterpieces The Godfather 1 & 2. The Conversation is formally more experimental causing it to be less accessible for mainstream audiences, and finally, it was conceptually ahead of its time thematically in its paranoid vision of technological advancements ton issues of personal privacy. In fact, I see The Conversation as a strong companion piece to another 70s masterpiece, Sidney Lumet’s Network (1976). When watched today, The Conversation not only holds up, it stands tall as a timely masterpiece in foreshadowing very contemporary issues of privacy and misinformation as a result of technology. It also presents a reflective commentary on whether or not as human beings we are ready psychologically to comprehend the inherent changes of perception caused by these advancements. Although the film itself was produce on an analogue format and the sound technology used in the narrative itself is also analogue, one could argue this is one of the first digital themed films…I mean, I did watch it on Blu Ray ;). Maybe Gene Hackman’s character Harry Caul was the first 21 First Century Digital Boy. The film is a haunting, challenging, and highly rewarding viewing experience…even comforting.