Image: Walter Murch in the Curzon Cinema. I'm sorry for the poor image quality. @Apple: What's up with the cameras??
The Curzon Cinema in London presented Francis Ford Coppolas movie from 1974 The Conversation. The special thing about it was that The Conversations sound designer Walter Murch also was present for question and answers.
Walter Murch is one of the most pivotal persons of New Hollywood working variously as a first sound designer and later as film editor. His best known works are Francis Ford Coppolas Apocalypse Now, The Conversation and The English Patient, for which Walter won 2 Oscars for the same movie: best sound AND picture editing.
The Conversation is about Harry Caul (Gene Hackman), a socially withdrawn surveillance expert who is employed by a mysterious figure (Robert Duvall) and his assistant (Harrison Ford) to surreptitiously record a conversation between a couple. As Harry pieces together fragments of recordings, he uncovers a mystery - perhaps a murder - but as he finds out more, does he actually know less? The Conversation is a classic study of trust, intimacy, suspicion and paranoia.
All persons involved in moviemaking should watch The Conversation again. Specially directors and producers, but actually, everybody should watch it again! The Conversation is a brilliant example how sound, picture and music can work together without competing each other. I has room, it has space, it is raw but has a great presence. And for a second reason, The Conversation is a great example how to tell a story with sound, without constant chatter. It's not necessary to explain everything. Let the people watch - and hear.
Watch the movie two times minimum! Have a look at the perspective when you look the film for the second time. You will realize, that the movie is completely told from Harry Cauls perspective. And: We never go out of his head. Also have a look at the camera's perspective: They move like surveillance cameras and pan around without fear to they loose the main character! What a great work and thanks to Walter Murch for a very interesting evening.
The Conversation - IMDb