Hello and welcome to the unofficial Brian De Palma website.
Here is the latest news:

De Palma a la Mod

E-mail
Geoffsongs@aol.com

De Palma Discussion
Forum

-------------

Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

Domino is
a "disarmingly
straight-forward"
work that "pushes
us to reexamine our
relationship to images
and their consumption,
not only ethically
but metaphysically"
-Collin Brinkman

De Palma on Domino
"It was not recut.
I was not involved
in the ADR, the
musical recording
sessions, the final
mix or the color
timing of the
final print."

Listen to
Donaggio's full score
for Domino online

De Palma/Lehman
rapport at work
in Snakes

De Palma/Lehman
next novel is Terry

De Palma developing
Catch And Kill,
"a horror movie
based on real things
that have happened
in the news"

Supercut video
of De Palma's films
edited by Carl Rodrigue

Washington Post
review of Keesey book

-------------

Exclusive Passion
Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

------------

AV Club Review
of Dumas book

------------

« July 2022 »
S M T W T F S
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31

Interviews...

De Palma interviewed
in Paris 2002

De Palma discusses
The Black Dahlia 2006


Enthusiasms...

De Palma Community

The Virtuoso
of the 7th Art

The De Palma Touch

The Swan Archives

Carrie...A Fan's Site

Phantompalooza

No Harm In Charm

Paul Schrader

Alfred Hitchcock
The Master Of Suspense

Alfred Hitchcock Films

Snake Eyes
a la Mod

Mission To Mars
a la Mod

Sergio Leone
and the Infield
Fly Rule

Movie Mags

Directorama

The Filmmaker Who
Came In From The Cold

Jim Emerson on
Greetings & Hi, Mom!

Scarface: Make Way
For The Bad Guy

The Big Dive
(Blow Out)

Carrie: The Movie

Deborah Shelton
Official Web Site

The Phantom Project

Welcome to the
Offices of Death Records

The Carlito's Way
Fan Page

The House Next Door

Kubrick on the
Guillotine

FilmLand Empire

Astigmia Cinema

LOLA

Cultural Weekly

A Lonely Place

The Film Doctor

italkyoubored

Icebox Movies

Medfly Quarantine

Not Just Movies

Hope Lies at
24 Frames Per Second

Motion Pictures Comics

Diary of a
Country Cinephile

So Why This Movie?

Obsessive Movie Nerd

Nothing Is Written

Ferdy on Films

Cashiers De Cinema

This Recording

Mike's Movie Guide

Every '70s Movie

Dangerous Minds

EatSleepLiveFilm

No Time For
Love, Dr. Jones!

The former
De Palma a la Mod
site

Entries by Topic
A note about topics: Some blog posts have more than one topic, in which case only one main topic can be chosen to represent that post. This means that some topics may have been discussed in posts labeled otherwise. For instance, a post that discusses both The Boston Stranglers and The Demolished Man may only be labeled one or the other. Please keep this in mind as you navigate this list.
All topics
Ambrose Chapel
Are Snakes Necessary?
BAMcinématek
Bart De Palma
Beaune Thriller Fest
Becoming Visionary
Betty Buckley
Bill Pankow
Black Dahlia
Blow Out
Blue Afternoon
Body Double
Bonfire Of The Vanities
Books
Boston Stranglers
Bruce Springsteen
Cannes
Capone Rising
Carlito's Way
Carrie
Casualties Of War
Catch And Kill
Cinema Studies
Clarksville 1861
Columbia University
Columbo - Shooting Script
Conversation, The  «
Cop-Out
Cruising
Daft Punk
Dancing In The Dark
David Koepp
De Niro
De Palma & Donaggio
De Palma (doc)
De Palma Blog-A-Thon
De Palma Discussion
Demolished Man
Dick Vorisek
Dionysus In '69
Domino
Dressed To Kill
Eric Schwab
Fatal Attraction
Femme Fatale
Film Series
Fire
Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Fury, The
George Litto
Get To Know Your Rabbit
Ghost & The Darkness
Greetings
Happy Valley
Havana Film Fest
Heat
Hi, Mom!
Hitchcock
Home Movies
Inspired by De Palma
Iraq, etc.
Jared Martin
Jerry Greenberg
Keith Gordon
Key Man, The
Laurent Bouzereau
Lights Out
Lithgow
Magic Hour
Magnificent Seven
Mission To Mars
Mission: Impossible
Mod
Montreal World Film Fest
Morricone
Mr. Hughes
Murder a la Mod
Nancy Allen
Nazi Gold
Newton 1861
Noah Baumbach
NYFF
Obsession
Oliver Stone
Palmetto
Paranormal Activity 2
Parker
Parties & Premieres
Passion
Paul Hirsch
Paul Schrader
Pauline Kael
Peet Gelderblom
Phantom Of The Paradise
Pimento
Pino Donaggio
Predator
Prince Of The City
Print The Legend
Raggedy Ann
Raising Cain
Red Shoes, The
Redacted
Responsive Eye
Retribution
Rie Rasmussen
Robert De Niro
Rotwang muß weg!
Sakamoto
Scarface
Scorsese
Sean Penn
Sisters
Snake Eyes
Sound Mixer
Spielberg
Star Wars
Stepford Wives
Stephen H Burum
Sweet Vengeance
Tabloid
Tarantino
Taxi Driver
Terry
The Tale
To Bridge This Gap
Toronto Film Fest
Toyer
Travolta
Treasure Sierra Madre
Tru Blu
Truth And Other Lies
TV Appearances
Untitled Ashton Kutcher
Untitled Hollywood Horror
Untitled Industry-Abuse M
Untouchables
Venice Beach
Vilmos Zsigmond
Wedding Party
William Finley
Wise Guys
Woton's Wake
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
You are not logged in. Log in
Saturday, January 29, 2022
SOUND, AND IMAGES CAREFULLY ATTUNED TO THAT SOUND
MICHAEL PHILLIPS REVIEWS NEWLY-STRUCK 35MM PRINT OF THE CONVERSATION, SUPERVISED BY COPPOLA
https://www.angelfire.com/de/palma/conversationallen.jpg

The Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips revisits The Conversation:

The Conversation” returns this week in a terrific, newly struck 35 millimeter print supervised by Coppola and distributed by Rialto Pictures, playing Jan. 28 to Feb. 3 at the Music Box. Its enveloping chill feels, looks and — crucially, in a story about a man who eavesdrops for a living — sounds as arresting as ever.

With a role originally offered to Marlon Brando, Coppola’s modestly scaled masterwork turned out to be two of Gene Hackman’s finest hours, in which he delineates a morally haunted surveillance expert’s world in incremental, barely perceptible ways, usually through action and reaction, not words.

Harry reveals little. His San Francisco apartment, furnished in the style of Early Anonymity, contains “nothing of value,” as he tells his building manager in a testy phone call early on, when Harry learns the manager has a key to his place. Outside Harry’s place the building across the street is being razed; Coppola’s script originally filled in many details and larger forces regarding who’s building the “new” San Francisco, and how.

Harry has no car, no phone, a frosty working relationship with his less fastidious fellow surveillance expert Stan, played by John Cazale. The subtly extraordinary opening sequence in “The Conversation,” endlessly rewatchable thanks to sound designer/editor and film editor Walter Murch’s brilliant aural and visual manipulations, takes place in Union Square at lunch time.

The sound wizards record fragments of conversation, from various locations and with various electronic means, between an apparent pair of young lovers (Cindy Williams of “Laverne and Shirley” and Coppola regular Frederic Forrest). Harry has been hired to tape their open-air rendezvous and deliver the results, for $15,000, to an unnamed businessman (Robert Duvall) and his achingly smug assistant (Harrison Ford, a year after “American Graffiti”). Harry doesn’t know anything about their reasons for the surveillance, or care.

What he discovers on the tapes, alone, later, at one of his three reel-to-reel recorders, suggests a crime in the making. Harry’s clouded past has blood on it already. An earlier job Harry worked resulted in the murder of three people. A devout Catholic, he lives his clam-like life with all his residual guilt crammed inside the shell. There’s barely room for occasional trysts with a lover (Teri Garr), or awkward socializing with acquaintances in the bugging community (Allen Garfield plays an East Coast rival).

Guided, gently, by composer David Shire’s solo piano fragments — loneliness, crystallized — “The Conversation” owes an acknowledged debt to Michelangelo Antonioni’s international 1966 sensation “Blowup,” as well as to Hermann Hesse’s “Steppenwolf,” with its riddle of a protagonist, isolated from society and even from himself. What Antonioni did with photography, and the notion of a sinister subplot hiding in plain sight, Coppola and Murch did with sound, and images carefully attuned to that sound. Coppola began working through the themes of “The Conversation” in the late ‘60s, when wiretapping was still legal. On “The Godfather,” Coppola narrowly avoided getting fired off his own movie, by firing those who were conspiring to fire him first. “The Conversation” may have been a smaller project, in the wake of the huge financial success of the first “Godfather,” but it wasn’t much easier for Coppola, as he revealed in a remarkable interview with fellow filmmaker Brian De Palma. Many pages, some key to the lucidity and back story of the narrative, went unfilmed due to time and money.

Many, including me, suspect the movie’s far richer and more troubling without those pages. Some would claim “The Conversation” is Coppola’s most essential work — a bridge between his commercial filmmaker self and the filmmaker striving for personal expression. It’s rarely either/or, of course, with moviemakers who have greatness to share.

Hackman often spoke of his frustrations with Harry, whom even Coppola described as a blank, a cipher. The film has its limitations: not all of the expository details are handled with equal finesse, partly because of those unfilmed pages; in this primarily male universe, the women are expendable, dismissible; and in an otherwise superb portrayal, Hackman seems ever so slightly uncertain in what he has to say, and how, in a key dream sequence.

These are small matters in a key film of its decade. (I had the good fortune to introduce it on Turner Classic Movies once.) Seeing it again in this beautiful new 35 mm print, “The Conversation” seems itself in conversation with an earlier San Francisco-set classic, Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.” Like Coppola’s film, “Vertigo” met an indifferent, vaguely mystified public reception in its initial release. “The Conversation” is also fully conversant in the language of ‘70s downbeat genre pictures with a difference. (Hackman soon went on to director Arthur Penn’s pungent detective tale “Night Moves.”) In that decade, so much modestly budgeted, modestly profitable studio work pre-”Star Wars” wasn’t afraid to unsettle an audience, or leave it hanging, in the service of a story unconcerned with tidy solutions, or dime-store redemption.

Hackman turned out to be exactly right for Harry Caul: He gives us a formidable island, trying desperately not to be seen, or judged. The climax delves into “precognition” visions of horror, of Harry’s own making. Nothing can be trusted, not even the recorded sounds on Harry’s reel-to-reel. It’s not always what you say. It’s how you say it.

Or hear it.


Posted by Geoff at 7:03 PM CST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post

Newer | Latest | Older