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Releated: discourse - speech

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The Conversation (1974) - Francis Ford Coppola

  • The Conversation (1974) - Francis Ford Coppola [Amazon.com]

    The Conversation is a 1974 film, a mystery and political thriller directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Gene Hackman. Robert Duvall (uncredited), Teri Garr and Harrison Ford also appear.

    Harry Caul (Hackman), a paranoid surveillance expert, has the task of monitoring a couple's conversation and activities. Though Caul may be expert at surveilling others, there is ample evidence that he has not taken basic measures to secure his own life from surveillance. A similar theme -- securing one's life from surveillance -- occurs in a later film in which Hackman stars, Enemy of the State.

    The film was released shortly after the Watergate scandal broke, and deals with issues of personal responsibility and the encroachment of technology on privacy.

    Coppola has cited Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up as a key influence on his conceptualization of the film's themes, such as surveillance versus participation, and perception versus reality.

    The film is consistently listed on the Internet Movie Database's list of top 250 films, and has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. It won the 1974 Palme d'Or (Golden Palm) at the Cannes Film Festival. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards for the year of 1973. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Conversation [Feb 2005]

    While on his latest assignment, Caul breaks his own code and becomes immersed in the latest conversation he's taped. While piecing together fragments of a lunchtime conversation (Coppola dazzles us with his repeated fetish for technology here), something stirs Caul and he begins projecting his own misery onto the discussion. He finally discerns that some evil plot may occur because of his work and is forced into the moral dilemma of whether to turn in the tapes. --Dave McCoy for amazon.com

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