Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation is a bleak study of electronic surveillance and the threat of new technologies, told through the private, internalised life of a lonely and detached surveillance expert (Gene Hackman).
Made in-between the first two Godfather films, Coppola’s The Conversation is a character study of its protagonist Harry Caul (Gene Hackman), woven into an eerie psychological thriller. Caul, a surveillance expert, records a conversation between a couple in a crowded Union Square in San Francisco, but his cool objectivity as surveillor slowly begins to unravel as he becomes convinced that the subjects that he spied on are in danger. A prescient examination of privacy and surveillance in the Watergate era, it is every bit as relevant and timely today.
The screening will be followed by a short panel discussion led by Dr Jonathan Heaney, focusing on surveillance, but also on the social emotions of guilt and shame, and their effects.
Real to Reel: Film and Social Life is a monthly sociological cinema series presented in collaboration with the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work at Queen’s University.
Martin Scorsese’s ninth collaboration with Robert De Niro finds the master filmmaker returning to the genre he has helped define, with a mystery that has never been solved.
Ken Loach returns to the milieu of 2016’s I, Daniel Blake with the fierce, vital Sorry We Missed You, supported by his long-time screenwriter Paul Laverty and producer Rebecca O’Brien.