Shades of both Hitchcock and Antonioni, and one of the best film scores I've heard, a brilliantly subdued thriller.

11 years ago


Excellent underrated film. The ending is spectacular.

7 years ago


Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation owes a huge (but acknowledged - it even starts with a mime) debt to Antonioni's Blow-Up, which I reviewed recently. Like Blow-Up, it's about context and perception, but instead of exploring it through a photographer and a mysterious sequence of pictures, he does so with a professional wiretapper, and an innocuous conversation. The conversation repeats throughout the film, revealing itself or its meaning a little more each time, but also taking on new meaning based on context. Gene Hackman gives an excellent and understated performance as the obsessively private protagonist, and Coppola doesn't go Blow-Up's philosophical route, steering the film towards the thriller genre, albeit a quiet kind of thriller. He certainly shows us a lot of the nitty-gritty of the surveillance business circa 1974, but a remake wouldn't feel incredibly different (though perhaps the character of Harry Caul would have even more anxiety regarding hypersurveillance). And there's a poetry to the images here that I really enjoy, Coppola importing the idea of things hidden and revealed into the cinematography and script elements.

5 years ago

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