It is currently Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:16 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 71 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:43 pm 
Not PETA approved
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada
Sloper wrote:
First of all, consider that first phrase: it suggests that when Stett sees Harry at the press conference, he knows from the look on Harry's face that he's figured it out. The Cindy Williams character sees this too. I think the following sequence showing what 'really happened' in the hotel room probably is accurate.

This is one of those movies that suggests tons but stops just short of unequivocally confirming things. All of what you say is perfectly logical and probable; but at the same time, you can also ask: "what does Stett know Harry knows? What does Stett know? Are we sure we know what we know given that we aren't always even sure of what Harry knows?" Not to overemphasize the ambiguities, but "we know that you know" is a pretty open statement. Which is to say, this is a movie you can make definite, believable, and likely conclusions about and still be able to append an "and yet..." to each of them. The film leaves enough loose ends to worry over, if you want. I like worrying the loose ends.


Top
 Profile  
 

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:49 pm 
Not PETA approved
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 9:02 pm
Location: Canada
So this makes pretty interesting companion viewing with The Parallax View, as well as being just fascinating on its own. Make sure you have about 45 minutes to kill.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:06 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 1:55 am
Location: New Avalon KY
Looks like we can ring in the new year with The Parallax View.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 12:24 am 
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm
Aw, I thought that was a blu until I looked a second time.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:44 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:42 pm
I'm willing to bet its the same release from 1999.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:48 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:49 pm
Location: Denver, CO
stroszeck wrote:
I'm willing to bet its the same release from 1999.

I'm sure it is. Its new distributor, Warner, is putting it back in print. Wish they'd do the same for Seconds.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:47 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:45 pm
Gah, what a disappointment. Parallax is one of those titles that's just screaming out for a Criterion, or simply a quality release from anybody. Paramount's DVD isn't unwatchable by any means, but it's very average in terms of picture quality. (There's also a weird blue line at the corner of the picture during the second half; I'm not sure how widespread this problem is but it's on my DVD).


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:36 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm
Yes, this is definitely a film that could do with a decent reissue and an HD upgrade. The same goes for Klute, which I happened to rewatch last night. The DVD looks okay, but a careful Blu transfer could do wonders with Willis's inky cinematography. Big stars, neo-noir hook, iconic, Oscar-winning performance, sex: is there really no HD audience for this film?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:00 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:59 am
Recently re-watched The Parallax View - this is definitely one of the most brilliant thrillers of all time. Extremely well crafted; the paranoia exhibited throughout the film was palatable. I also feel this is Beatty's best movie.

The aspect that possibly stood out the most for me here were the numerous far/long shots showing Beatty walking into and out of large buildings; walking up steps; the scene in front of the dam; the auditorium scene at the end. In these shots, the character was intentionally dwarfed by the buildings/structures around him (to the point where, in some cases, it was hard to pinpoint where he actually was on screen) - this emphasized his ineffectualness against the large, shadowy organization that he was fighting against - i.e., he had no chance of winning & never did.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:53 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:59 am
Recently re-watched The Conversation. Excellent, and it's hard to believe that Coppolla made this between GF's 1 & 2, since it's a completely different type of film...Hackman was perfect as the relatively emotionless Harry Caul, who was at his best when working alone on his job & and didn't do well when having to deal with people & relationships.

The wire-tapping displayed here is even more disturbing & relevant than it was 40 years ago when the film was released..It was interesting to see that there were trade shows for this at that time...

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Though the entire film was amazing, my favorite scene is the end, when Caul is sitting alone in his apartment & calmly playing his sax....after having ripped up the walls & floorboard looking for bug(s) that may or may not have been there. Sheer cinematic brilliance.


Also re-watched Klute for the first time in years. The wire-tapping/tape recording, shadowy figures, '70's NYC winter setting, and elements of dread all combined to make this another superb film.

It was interesting that the villain & his motivations were revealed at the end...when I first saw the movie, I thought that the dissapearance of Tom Gruneman was linked to some kind of corporate espionage, but it turns out the reasons were much different.

This is completely different from what we saw in All the President's Men, The Parallax View, and The Conversation - at the end of those films, the people involved were, for the most part, still in the shadows...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:24 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 11:46 am
I watched this film again, which was a favorite from my late teen years, for the first time in around six or seven years and I fell in love with it all over again. Threw up a shortish essay on it as I couldn't resist. The film is just too good, and Coppola in the 1970's was really just--the realization of what I would imagine are the peak generalized aspirations of every and any director. Great commercial success with supreme admiration on the artistic front.

Nosferatu still coming. Coming. c o m i n g. . . . ...


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:59 am
Obviously, I'm a big fan of the superb 1974 film The Conversation, and have seen the film numerous times over the years. Here are some observations/questions:

Re: the attractive neighbor who tells Harry Caul (Hackman) Happy Birthday on the steps of his apartment complex; it's not clear how she knew it was his birthday; did she get a birthday card meant for him in the mail accidentally?!

Caul seemed to be bankrolling Amy (the Teri Garr character); he mentioned paying her rent at one point. When I first saw the film, I thought she was a prostitute. However, it seems like she was just a woman Harry was both "dating" and also helping out financially. I do think it was interesting how he couldn't find a phone listing for her when he later called the phone company. Had she moved since he last saw her because she didn't want to deal with him coming back to see her, or was her phone # always unlisted?!

The wiretapping job that Caul was doing in the beginning (and that was the focus of this entire film) seemed to be for this reason:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The Robert Duvall character (the corporate big shot) suspected his wife/girlfriend (the Cindy Williams character) was having an affair with a co-worker (the Frederic Forrest character). So, he had Caul wiretap them, which confirmed the affair. Then, RD confronted CW & FF in the hotel room (the day/time was confirmed by Caul's wiretap); they subsequently took out RD, and then made it look like a car accident. When I first saw the film I thought there was some kind of "corporate espionage" going on here, but after re-watching it several times I think the explanation for the wire-tapping is much more mundane (as mentioned above). Not sure if anyone else has ever had a different read on this, however....


So, near the end when Caul was told by Martin Stett (Harrison Ford) that they were "watching him", was there a wiretapping device in his apartment that he didn't know about?!
[Reveal] Spoiler:
The answer to that question is - "we don't know". He tore up his entire apartment @ the end and couldn't find anything, but something could still have been hidden somewhere. The ending was one of the most brilliant endings in cinema, and extremely ironic - i.e., Caul had made a career of being an excellent wiretapper - but, at the end, he may also have been a victim of wiretapping himself.


Last edited by Harry Caul on Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:23 am 
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:04 pm
Location: A Midland town spread and darkened into a city
Harry Caul wrote:
...Re: the attractive neighbor who tells Harry Caul (Hackman) Happy Birthday on the steps of his apartment complex; it's not clear how she knew it was his birthday; did she get a birthday card meant for him in the mail accidentally?!...

Not accidentally. I thought it was pretty clear that Caul believes the neighbor was reading his mail, which added to his paranoia. As originally conceived, Caul was not just a tenant, but the landlord of the apartment complex. Coppola shot a number of scenes involving heated exchanges between Caul and the other tenants regarding repairs, past-due rent payments, etc. This whole subplot was dropped in an effort to reduce the film's running time.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:48 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:59 am
Roger Ryan wrote:
Not accidentally. I thought it was pretty clear that Caul believes the neighbor was reading his mail, which added to his paranoia. As originally conceived, Caul was not just a tenant, but the landlord of the apartment complex. Coppola shot a number of scenes involving heated exchanges between Caul and the other tenants regarding repairs, past-due rent payments, etc. This whole subplot was dropped in an effort to reduce the film's running time.


Makes sense - Thanks. I did not know that Caul was originally conceived as the landlord of the apartment complex; strange idea to have a very private, isolated character like Caul be a landlord, which would mean he would have to deal with a lot of people on a regular basis. I agree that scenes with him dealing with the other tenants would have been distracting, and taken away from the effectiveness of the film - which, as it stood, was extremely well edited. I'm glad that subplot (re: his being the landlord) was dropped.


Last edited by Harry Caul on Sat Jan 28, 2017 7:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:24 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK
This has just reminded me that the dream sequence from The Conversation was later sampled in Clock DVA's track The Connection Machine!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Jan 22, 2017 1:59 am
oh yeah wrote:
What's so compelling to me about Parallax is the total uncertainty by the audience in the second half (after the "test") as to what exactly is going on. In the first half, we're on the same page as Beatty's character (sometimes even a step ahead); we know exactly his motives and intentions for his actions. After the test, though, everything becomes murky; it's uncertain what exactly Beatty knows about Parallax, and whether he's still operating as a rogue, truth-seeking journalist, or has already become initiated, brainwashed into becoming a Parallax patsy of some sort. And as this narrative confusion happens, so too does the style of the film become even more remote, more abstracted, more about surfaces than "substance"; we see the doorway but not what lies beyond the door. All this, of course, culminates in the lengthy final sequence set in that large, largely secluded convention center, to my mind one of the greatest things put to celluloid. I particularly love Small's ironically chirpy, ultra-patriotic score, with the marching band here, as we watch shadowy figures meet on the darkened rafters above (and Parallax "Security" men look down through a cinemascope-shaped window from their perch in an office). It's just masterful, unforgettable film-making.

I think my favorite shot may be of Senator Hammond arriving in his little golf cart, the sliding door slowly closing shut behind him as all light is increasingly sucked out of the screen, leaving total blackness at the end. God, Gordon Willis was such a genius. As great as Pakula was, I have to wonder how effective these films would be without Willis' utterly distinct vision.

Agree with everything above. The Parallax View is an extremely disturbing film, and the possible parallels to the JFK murder (if you believe the conspiracy theories) makes it even more powerful. I'm sure audiences at the time were freaked out by the film, but so was I when I first saw it back in the 200X's. Extremely effective & hard to watch at times, especially the indoctrination "film" that the Beatty character sees at one point.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:01 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:52 am
Location: Wilmington, NC
I rewatched this (the old Paramount release, not the LGF edition) last night; it's long been one of my favorite films -- and by far my favorite of Coppola's that I've seen -- but I feel like a fool because I think I've been misinterpreting it all these years.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
My understanding had been that Harry Caul was hired, as he thought all along, by Robert Duvall's "director" character but it was on the basis that he suspected his wife and her lover were planning to kill him, since the dialogue in his exchange with Harrison Ford's Smithers-like caricature is along the lines of "you want it to be true," and it feels like it's about more than just an affair. But am I right in now thinking that the closing scenes imply Ford was involved, that the entire town-square conversation is itself a staged setup to get the Director in the right room at the right time so that he can be murdered? Which would mean that the couple is aware they are under surveillance and are "performing," so to speak. Or am I overthinking this? I realize it doesn't matter, the essence of the film is the same, but I find it interesting for how much greater Harry's guilt would be if he not only caused another murder but was also manipulated through his profession and failed to sniff it out.

Has there ever been any flack, I wonder, for the operative line in the conversation -- "he'd kill us" vs. "he'd kill us" being changed for the revelation? It doesn't bother me, though I confess that for the past decade I often find myself wondering idly if there would be a way to deliver that line with such an inflection that it could have the two meanings simultaneously, altered only by context.
Going online to read friends' reviews on Letterboxd earlier, I was surprised to see some criticism of the film's Catholicism commentary as being shoehorned-in. I personally never thought of it as anything but an interesting layer of Harry's odd, compartmentalized morals, not something artificial or overly contrived. The only other complaint people seem to have is about the dream sequence, which I agree is the most hackneyed part of the movie, but it's so short it doesn't really bother me.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:03 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 11:26 pm
I think we got into the thing you're questioning a fair bit in this thread viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12105


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:22 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 10:52 am
Location: Wilmington, NC
matrixschmatrix wrote:
I think we got into the thing you're questioning a fair bit in this thread viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12105
Oh thank you. My search for "conversation" was probably too vague! Everyone's posts in that thread are fantastic and Sloper's in particular seem to align with my way of thinking on this film.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:29 pm 
Dot Com Dom
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm
And now, though the magic of moderation, you're in that thread!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 4:08 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2017 3:04 pm
Odd, I watched this and Apocalypse Now for the first time in over a decade this past weekend and even found this thread a good resource. Never seen the theory that Harry's Catholicism was tacked on, definitely a culture Coppola knows, but the payoff of having him really reluctantly destroy his statue before totally melting down seemed enough of a reason to add it.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 71 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group




This site is not affiliated with The Criterion Collection