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(YouTube) Video Saturday Cinema - The Parallax View, 1974, God, Mom, Apple Pie and political assassination, what's more American than that?   ( divider line
    More: Video, The Parallax View, Americans, god, political thriller, apple pies, imagines, Warren Beatty  
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552 clicks; posted to Video » on 29 Mar 2014 at 3:02 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-03-29 10:14:07 AM  
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Saturday Cinema - The Parallax View, 1974, God, Mom, Apple Pie and political assassination, what's more American than that?

A few years after she witnesses a politician gunned down at public gathering, a journalist notices that many of the witnesses have died. She confesses to a colleague, played by Warren Beatty, that she's starting to get nervous. It must merely be coincidence, surely.
Besides, the committee investigating the incident determined that the gunman acted alone.

Without any history of drugs use, she is found dead of an overdose. Her colleague convinces their editor to let him investigate.
Written by Lorenzo Semple Jr, the author of the espionage classic Three Days of the Condor. Papillon, Never Say Never Again and the 1966 version of Batman,

Beatty's newsgathering becomes dangerous for his health as he's nearly drowned by a policeman.   Semple died this week, at age 86. He recently had a YouTube channel called Reel Geezers where he and retired colleagues talked about their decades in the movie business.

As the reporter quizzes other witnesses, a picture begins forming: private corporation was formed so that it falls outside of constitutional protections, and it appears to be used for domestic terrorism.  Beatty uses a second near escape to play dead in order to infiltrate the Parallax Corporation as yet another disposable foot soldier.

How does it end?

Well, the committee investigating Beatty's actions determined he acted alone.

The film was directed by Alan J Paluka and based on a 1970 novel.

Paluka is known for To Kill a Mockingbird, All the President's Men, Klute and Sophie's Choice. Parallax is considered to be part of his 'paranoia trilogy'  that includes President's Men and Klute.  This post-Nixon's thriller has its opening sequence designed to call to mind the killing of the second Kennedy brother.

Roger Ebert gave the film three out of four stars and wrote, "The Parallax View will no doubt remind some reviewers of Executive Action (1973), another movie released at about the same time that advanced a conspiracy theory of assassination. It's a better use of similar material, however, because it tries to entertain instead of staying behind to argue." In his review for The New York Times, Vincent Canby wrote, "Neither Mr. Pakula nor his screenwriters, David Giler and Lorenzo Semple, Jr., display the wit that Alfred Hitchcock might have used to give the tale importance transcending immediate plausibility. The moviemakers have, instead, treated their central idea so soberly that they sabotage credulity."
Despite the mixed reviews, one thing is certain: it's a visual treat. Filmed with long lenses by the great Gordon Willis, the film's got often unusual framing that gives it a creepy look. Here's a partial list of his output in the 70s.

Last week's Saturday Cinema.

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2014-03-29 10:14:58 AM  
Oh, because I'm a dumbass, could the admins change '197' to '1974' in the submission? Thanks.
2014-03-29 03:18:14 PM  
Now that was an awesome movie with absolutely everything, great actors, great action, conspiracy theories, guns and bred out of the "paranoia" of 1968, Vietnam and Watergate. Nixon resigned less than two months after this came out. It's a short 19 years between this movie and the X-Files.

My guess it would be almost impossible to shoot this movie today and retain the same ending.
2014-03-29 03:24:39 PM  
That movie poster though, um, is ominously prescient of recent tragedies.
2014-03-29 03:50:59 PM  
I love how the movie starts out as a standard-issue action thriller -- complete with fistfight and car chase -- but then gets far darker and far stranger, and becomes something else entirely.

I don't think Pakula has ever gotten the full credit he deserves as a director.
2014-03-30 12:43:12 AM  
Unfortunately our "Conspiracy Culture" has completely muted the impact of this film. Ironically the ONE issue it gets massively wrong is the evil nature of the corporation. Yes there have been TONS of corrupt and slimy corporations but NONE of them have personal death squads. I would not put defense contractors like Blackwater in the class as the Paralax Corporation in this movie. Pralax kills because to protect itself. Companies that need to eliminate people DON'T use their own goons! They sub contract to the mob or use paid assassins. That way there is no direct link to the corporation and there is "plausible deniability" if the plot is uncovered.

  It is really funny that in Hollywood fictional movies, corporate evil is NEVER quite like the evil practiced by corporations in the real world. The perfect illustration of that was the remake of the Manchurian Candidate where Manchuria and the Chi coms were replaced with "The Manchurian Corporation" It was justifiably laughed out of theaters.
2014-03-30 07:08:48 PM  
Disturbingly true.

This film freaked me out then.

It freaks me out even more today.
2014-03-31 12:16:24 AM  
The strangest thing about the movie is the thought that there was a time when you could just get on a plane without a ticket and pay for your flight onboard.
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