1064 The Parallax View

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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DarkImbecile
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1064 The Parallax View

#1 Post by DarkImbecile » Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:41 pm

The Parallax View

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Perhaps no director tapped into the pervasive sense of dread and mistrust that defined the 1970s more effectively than Alan J. Pakula, who, in the second installment of his celebrated Paranoia Trilogy, offers a chilling vision of America in the wake of the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr. and about to be shocked by Watergate. Three years after witnessing the murder of a leading senator atop Seattle’s Space Needle, reporter Joseph Frady (Warren Beatty) begins digging into the mysterious circumstances surrounding the killing—and stumbles into a labyrinthine conspiracy far more sinister than he could have imagined. The Parallax View’s coolly stylized, shadow-etched compositions by acclaimed cinematographer Gordon Willis give visual expression to a mood that begins as an anxious whisper and ends as a scream into the void.

SPECIAL FEATURES
  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New introduction by filmmaker Alex Cox
  • Interviews with director Alan J. Pakula from 1974 and 1995
  • New program on cinematographer Gordon Willis featuring an interview with Willis from 2004
  • New interview with Jon Boorstin, assistant to Pakula on The Parallax View
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
    PLUS: An essay by critic Nathan Heller and a 1974 interview with Pakula
New cover by Adam Maida

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zedz
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#2 Post by zedz » Fri Nov 13, 2020 3:39 pm

. . . and about time too.

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movielocke
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#3 Post by movielocke » Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:36 pm

I saw this about twenty years ago as a teenager, with little context other than that it had something to do with the JFK assassination. I remember looking up what the Warren commission was afterwards. Looking forward to revisiting this!

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#4 Post by therewillbeblus » Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:52 pm

SpoilerShow
The brainwashing video at the halfway mark
is one of my favorite moments in movies period. It's just so pleasurable to watch (and it's not a short departure, veering on the five-minute mark) the inspiration and care that went into its creation as a contextual 'what if', and also at face value as a fun experimental film.

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PfR73
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#5 Post by PfR73 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 11:55 pm

Yes, I'm excited about this release (watched the film for the first time on my birthday this summer on Amazon Prime during a Pakula run), but I'm disappointed that there currently isn't anything listed in the extras focusing on that sequence. That's something I'd particularly like to see some focus on.

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barryconvex
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#6 Post by barryconvex » Sat Nov 14, 2020 12:18 am

therewillbeblus wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:52 pm
SpoilerShow
The brainwashing video at the halfway mark
is one of my favorite moments in movies period. It's just so pleasurable to watch (and it's not a short departure, veering on the five-minute mark) the inspiration and care that went into its creation as a contextual 'what if', and also at face value as a fun experimental film.
I second that emotion, it's a great, great sequence. Looking forward to revisiting this too, it's been years and years..

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#7 Post by Noiradelic » Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:04 am

therewillbeblus wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:52 pm
SpoilerShow
The brainwashing video at the halfway mark
is one of my favorite moments in movies period. It's just so pleasurable to watch (and it's not a short departure, veering on the five-minute mark) the inspiration and care that went into its creation as a contextual 'what if', and also at face value as a fun experimental film.
It's phenomenal. Too bad that the same inspiration and care didn't go into the rest of the film, which is rather thin. Still a classic of paranoid cinema. A relief someone finally released it on BD. Now if Criterion could only get the music rights for California Split sorted out....

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#8 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:05 pm

Disappointed the film-within-the-film isn't viewable on its own as an extra, à la The Game. But given the film's age the elements probably don't exist anymore.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#9 Post by aox » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:22 pm

The Fanciful Norwegian wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:05 pm
Disappointed the film-within-the-film isn't viewable on its own as an extra, à la The Game. But given the film's age the elements probably don't exist anymore.
Not to get too off topic, but is what you are talking about buried within this special feature?
An hour’s worth of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and film-to-storyboard comparisons for four of the film’s major set pieces, with commentary
Otherwise, I think I have missed it. You're talking about the film Douglas is forced to watch at his psych evaluation that mirrors this and A Clockwork Orange, right?

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#10 Post by The Fanciful Norwegian » Tue Nov 17, 2020 7:32 pm

Yes, for some reason Criterion didn't see fit to mention it in the official specs, but per reviews it's on their DVD/Blu edition, labeled as "Psychological Test Film." It was also on their LD release.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#11 Post by dwk » Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:47 pm


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olmo
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#12 Post by olmo » Mon Jan 18, 2021 6:32 am

dwk wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 3:47 pm
The Beaver View
While I'm fully aware Willis was a genius in his own right, that shot of McKinney in the foreground with the Space Needle rising out of the streetlights is so Zsigmond.

Beautiful.

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tenia
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#13 Post by tenia » Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:17 am

The Parallax-Svet.com review.
(of course he loves the basis of the movie)

It's intriguing how this review makes it looks like he had serious political discussions before the 80s, but I don't think I'm mistaken by saying he's most likely not older than 50yo, ie born in the early 70s. I thus wonder at what age he could have had such discussions (but maybe that when he started working "in the European film distribution system in the early 1990s", he already was 40).

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#14 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:22 am

tenia wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:17 am
The Parallax-Svet.com review.
(of course he loves the basis of the movie)

It's intriguing how this review makes it looks like he had serious political discussions before the 80s, but I don't think I'm mistaken by saying he's most likely not older than 50yo, ie born in the early 70s. I thus wonder at what age he could have had such discussions (but maybe that when he started working "in the European film distribution system in the early 1990s", he already was 40).
I'm actually surprised this review is not more bonkers than it is. Though, to be clear, it's pretty bonkers.

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Big Ben
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#15 Post by Big Ben » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:16 pm

Svet wrote:I read as many articles as I could, and I watched the trial. Slowly but surely, I was assembling the truth. But the truth that emerged in the media -- starting with Agca's past with the Gray Wolves to his possible involvement with Eastern European secret services to his supposedly flawless planning of the solo hit on Pope John Paul II -- made very little sense. And then it became flat-out ridiculous when, seemingly overnight, a lot of very powerful people declared that they had the evidence to conclude that Agca had acted entirely alone. At this point I knew that the official 'truth' was actually a convenient lie, just like the one explaining Lee Harvey Oswald's heinous act in Dallas.
Dude what. This entire passage is absolutely batshit insane.

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tenia
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#16 Post by tenia » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:21 pm

What did you expect from a review opening with "Behind every conspiracy theory there is an unproven truth. This statement comes from a very smart man with whom years ago I spent a lot of time discussing all sorts of different political events." ?

But it's good to know blu-ray.com is OK with publishing this on their website.

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Cash Flagg
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#17 Post by Cash Flagg » Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:09 pm

tenia wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:21 pm
This statement comes from a very smart man with whom years ago I spent a lot of time discussing all sorts of different political events."
Alex Jones, perhaps?

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#18 Post by MichaelB » Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:51 pm

tenia wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:17 am
The Parallax-Svet.com review.
(of course he loves the basis of the movie)

It's intriguing how this review makes it looks like he had serious political discussions before the 80s, but I don't think I'm mistaken by saying he's most likely not older than 50yo, ie born in the early 70s. I thus wonder at what age he could have had such discussions (but maybe that when he started working "in the European film distribution system in the early 1990s", he already was 40).
There's a Bulgarian professional bassoonist called Svetoslav Atanasov who was born in 1974 and moved to the US after 1997. I can't discount the possibility that there's more than one, but on balance it seems unlikely.

And I've long been under the impression that he's slightly younger than me - his love of turn-of-the-90s soft porn being one of the clues, as it seems to me that only someone who was in his mid-to-late teens at the time would respond to those films with quite that much nostalgic ardour.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#19 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:31 pm

Although Mark Kermode often mentions on his film show that his wife specialises in 90s erotic thriller cinema, which explains how he can name drop all those Gregory Dark/Gregory Hippolyte directed films like Animal Instincts, Night Rhythms, Mirror Images and Secret Games with such adeptness.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#20 Post by Sternhalma Weinstein » Wed Jan 20, 2021 11:17 pm

MichaelB wrote:
Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:51 pm
There's a Bulgarian professional bassoonist called Svetoslav Atanasov who was born in 1974 and moved to the US after 1997. I can't discount the possibility that there's more than one, but on balance it seems unlikely.
I worked with a recently transplanted Bulgarian once, for a few months in the early 1990s. Extremely nice guy... but without a doubt the craziest SOB I ever knew. Within seconds of meeting him he was asking if I liked porn (sure, OK) and the next day brought into work, unprompted, reams of Eastern European pornographic newspapers. It was a delivery job, and he drove more recklessly (in a Midwest winter!) than a dozen drunken teenaged boys. Far as I know, he didn't play any musical instruments.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#21 Post by TheKieslowskiHaze » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:21 pm

Anyone start going through the supplements on this one? I just watched the introduction by Alex Cox, and it struck me as a bold choice on Criterion's part to keep this in.

They let Cox go full blown conspiracy theorist. He talks of the Zapruder film showing Kennedy clearly killed by an "extraordinary crossfire" and that there is an "ongoing propaganda campaign" to convince us that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. One line that struck me was Cox's saying that 70% of Americans don't fully trust the Warren Commission's report. Seemed rather high to me.

After watching this, I recalled that Cox was also into 9/11 trutherism. So I did some very light digging and found this article, in which Cox claims that 70% of Americans don't trust the "official" version of the events of 9/11. Also seems high.

Is Cox telling us 70% of Americans disbelieve the official versions of both the JFK assassination AND the attacks of 9/11? Or is 70% just the number he pulls out of a hat to support his conspiratorial thinking? Or is he just confused?

This is not to start a whole tangent about conspiracy theories. I was just surprised Criterion let this be in their release, is all. As for the movie itself, it is wonderful and I had a blast watching it tonight.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#22 Post by therewillbeblus » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:31 pm

All I’m certain of is that 70% of people who watch the brainwashing short film in The Parallax View disbelieve Cox’s stances in conspiracy theorism

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Big Ben
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#23 Post by Big Ben » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:45 pm

I'm under the (admittedly personal) impression that the real reason people believe in the JFK Conspiracy is because somewhere deep down it's difficult for them to accept the most powerful man in the world was killed by a single individual. Kind of wonky that Criterion let Cox's nonsense be on the disc.

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therewillbeblus
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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#24 Post by therewillbeblus » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:03 am

I'm not a conspiracy theorist at all, but I've done a fair amount of research and have a good friend who's quite obsessive about the JFK assassination (though he doesn't subscribe to any rigid conspiracy theory) and there's a lot of very strange stuff there. I'm often one to take the position that people psychologically cope with challenging information through delusional thinking, even if very mild, but this is a bit more complicated than that in my opinion. I don't lean in any specific direction of what happened (and I think quite a few people who believe it was a conspiracy also leave open the option that there was only one shooter, which is possible) but it seems pretty likely that there was a conspiracy at least in organizational motive.

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Re: 1064 The Parallax View

#25 Post by Rayon Vert » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:06 am

I'm with you TW. I've delved quite a bit into it as well and there's no way I would buy the Oswald or single shooter narrative.

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