Sep 3, 2014

7th Sept 2014; Coppola's THE CONVERSATION

 The Conversation
A film by  Francis Ford Coppola
1974/ USA / 113 mins / Col
7th Sept ; 5.45pm; Perks Mini Theater

Harry Caul (Hackman) is pre-eminent in his field. His trade magazine is called "Security World" and sound is his universe. Harry Caul is an expert professional eavesdropper. From his troubled childhood, Harry has grown up into a lonely man. He lives alone, has no entertainment except playing his saxophone with jazz records . No woman has any influence over him.

Coppola, who wrote and directed, considers this film his most personal project. He was working two years after the Watergate break-in, amid the ruins of the Vietnam effort, telling the story of a man who places too much reliance on high technology and has nightmares about his personal responsibility. 
Harry Caul is a microcosm of America at that time: not a bad man, trying to do his job, haunted by a guilty conscience, feeling tarnished by his work. 

Harry has been hired by the director of a large corporation to investigate and report the movements of his wife Ann. ‘The Conversation’ comes from another time and place than today’s thrillers, which are so often simple-minded. This movie is a character study, about a man who has removed himself from life, thinks he can observe it dispassionately at an electronic remove, and finds that all of his barriers are worthless. The cinematography (opening scene by Haskell Wexler, the rest by Bill Butler) is deliberately planned from a voyeuristic point of view; we are always looking but imperfectly seeing.
 The Conversation allowed Francis Ford Coppola to engage in a more personal style of storytelling, crafting a small-scale character study that's steeped in minor-key melancholia. The Conversation perfectly encapsulates the disaffection, alienation, and paranoia infecting America's body politic in the era of Watergate, the wiretapping scandal that brought down the Nixon administration, though the timing of the film's release was coincidental. (Source:Internet)

Francis Ford Coppola

Coppola  was born in 1939 in Detroit, USA, but he grew up in a New York suburb in a creative, supportive Italian-American family. Francis Ford Coppola graduated with a degree in drama from Hofstra University, and did graduate work at UCLA in filmmaking. He was training as assistant with filmmaker Roger Corman, working in such capacities as sound-man, dialogue director, associate producer and, eventually, director of Dementia 13 (1963), Coppola's first feature film. During the next four years, Coppola was involved in a variety of script collaborations.

Coppola won a Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for Patton (1970), Coppola's 2nd film brought him critical acclaim and a Master of Fine Arts degree. In 1969, Coppola and George Lucas established American Zoetrope, an independent film production company based in San Francisco. The company's first project was THX 1138 (1971), produced by Coppola and directed by Lucas. Coppola also produced the second film that Lucas directed, American Graffiti (1973), in 1973.Coppola's film The Godfather (1972) became one of the highest-grossing movies in history and brought him an Oscar for writing the screenplay with Mario Puzo.

Following his work on the screenplay for The Great Gatsby (1974), Coppola's next film was The Conversation (1974), which was honored with the Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival.Also released that year, The Godfather: Part II (1974), rivaled the success of The Godfather (1972), and won six Academy Awards, bringing Coppola Oscars as a producer, director and writer. Coppola then began work on his most ambitious film, Apocalypse Now (1979), a Vietnam War epic that was inspired by Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (1993).With George Lucas, Coppola executive produced Kagemusha (1980), directed by Akira Kurosawa, and Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), directed by Paul Schrader.

Francis Ford Coppola is one of America's most erratic, energetic and controversial filmmakers.

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