Wednesday, September 15, 2004

The Conversation


I watched The Conversation by Francis Ford Coppola again the other night. It had been a while.

I think it's easily Coppola's best work. It not only crystalizes perfectly the isolation of a man from those around him, the loneliness of a crowd theme of his other works, and taking it to its most logical conclusion. This time, however, he also comments on the act of the filmmaker himself, in the same kind of way that Alfred Hitchcock did with Rear Window and Michael Powell did with Peeping Tom, showing the inherent voyeurism of the act, and asking what the responsibility the voyeur has towards the subjects of his viewing.

With its virtuoso performances, especially from Gene Hackman and the late John Cazale, this is a nearly perfect film. Its greatness truly towers over the accomplishments even of Coppola's more acknowledged other works. Watch it now. Even if you've seen it before, give it another look.

It's worth it.

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