Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Conversation (1974)

IMDb plot summary: A paranoid and personally-secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Starring Gene Hackman, John Cazale, and Allen Garfield.

I don't *understand* you, Francis Ford Coppola.

I like the concepts for his movies. I like one or two individual moments. But there is always a serious emotional disconnect, a sense that I have no idea what's going on in his films, thematically. I can't read his characters, I can't see his vision, I can't figure out what he's trying to say. It's hard to explain - it's not that I can't follow the plot. It's a bit like watching a movie in a foreign language that is translated literally word-by-word into English. Each individual word makes sense, but the sentences are too confusing to parse. Similarly, while I can follow and repeat back to you each action, I can't place them in the movie's context. We somehow are speaking a very different cinematic language.

That being said, I really really liked the ending shot of this movie, and in the last 20 minutes or so I think I realized what this movie was about, and then it actually became interesting. Before that though, it was just an hour and a half of me going, "DANG IT, COPPOLA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Not enough to win me over. 2 stars.

Flickchart: #1180 out of 1916, below Twist of Faith and above Holiday.

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