Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Parallax View (1974)

The Parallax View is one of a small bunch of movies in the 70's, like The Conversation, which were made and came out around the time that Watergate was heating up. So hence, the idea of government conspiracies and cover-ups, and of people spying, were bubbling up pretty close to the surface. Overall this is a great, paranoid piece of 70's work where Warren Beatty plays the dogged journalist (shades of Woodward and Bernstein) who tries to uncover the truth about a series of assassinations that had been happening around the country. On the one hand, I liked the paranoid thriller, there is a pretty great twist ending to it all, and there is also a virtuoso 5 minute scene in the middle where the corporation that trains the assassins (or finds people to be assassins, so to speak), shows Beatty, who is pretending to want to be a trainee, a film that is supposed to suss out whether or not he is up to the job. You'd think for five minutes the film would stop cold, but it is a really eerie set piece as this film that Beatty is supposed to be watching is shown in it's entirety, and it really gets across the worldview of the people behind the conspiracy. it's really amazing. I'd put in a video of it, but if you ever decide to watch the movie I'd want  you to catch it by surprise like I (sort of) did. On the other hand, and I guess this happens in any movie or TV show where one or two people are the only people looking for THE TRUTH, it's natural to think that a conspiracy like this would surely just fall down under the weight of how big it is. And also people seemed to be getting murdered or assassinated at an alarming rate in this movie's America, you'd think there would be more than one journalist on this case. But, then again, after a year like 1968 and with Watergate going on, maybe people really did think (or maybe it was the truth) that only a handful of people were actually looking for the real truth truth behind what was going on. Wow, this 70's conspiracy thriller really made me think!

I was inspired, one night, to watch it because of this AV Club list. But, again, don't watch that part that they talk about in detail there!


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