Real to Reel: The Conversation

BBFC RatingReal to Reel: The Conversation

Real to Reel: The Conversation
GenreDrama, Mystery, Thriller
DirectorFrancis Ford Coppola
Running Time1HR 54MINS
SeasonMain Programme

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.


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