"It had nothing to do with me": Francis Ford Coppola’s "The Conversation"

None of this is what Harry Caul wanted. While it was by no means a technically effortless endeavor, it should, still, have been another routine assignment. He and his freelance team of surveillance experts were to record the conversation between two subjects as they traversed the lunchtime crowd mingling around Union Square. Harry was to then assemble the recordings and deliver the tapes to his employer. That’s it. Then he’d move on. But this isn’t what happens in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation (1974). Instead, as Coppola’s chief protagonists had done in the other films that distinguished the director’s extraordinary run of the 1970s,Harry finds himself reluctantly, though perhaps inevitably, enveloped in a world of intrigue and violence, and he endures the existential despair fundamentally resulting from his occupational options.Under The Conversation’s opening credits, an overhead shot of San Francisco’s social hub slowly zooms closer,
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