ARCHITECTURE OF THE CONVERSATION
The Conversation works with sound as montage does to sight-
LAYERING: layering of sound fragments repeated over and over in discontinuous replays until we finally put it together in our heads. but listen up for trick ending- the only failure. great ending: layers of ambient and scenographic musics
Visual Abetting: Layers of reflections in phone-booth and the trolley window, its lights stopping and starting;
TRANSPARENCY: Filtering through obstacles in space, (the park,) to apprehend an ultimate composition, (the conversation.)
Visual Abetting: Blue screen hanging in studio, scrim on interior corporate office windows, the view to the murder through textured glass, the Francis Bacon smear of the view to the body through the bloody plastic shower curtain; even his rubber raincoat helps render him more vulnerable for its foggy flimsy see-throughness, whipping around in the wind as he traipses back to the envelope he’s almost brave enough to leave thrown away.
MULTIPLE POINTS OF VIEW: The conversation, recorded from different angles, listened to with different agendas and understood by different predispositions;
Visual abetting: the backward-forward view through the van window provides a cheap and easy peephole for amateurs; the easy use he puts to the surveillance camera at the convention; the view to his cell-among-others on the terrace of the hotel;
Dig the studio he works in - before “live-work” lofts;
Dig the style: Late High Modern, high corporate kingdom (Embarcadero center), austere and menacing slickness of upper offices. Hard edged concrete reception desk at grade level as faceless as the Polaroid guards with neckties.
The sound technician on the movie has said the sound he used to indicate unclear parts of the recording is entirely made up and not related to any real effect of recording.
I’ve tried to figure out what if any significance there is to it being the particular scene of the Flintstones that he wakes up to in the hotel. My only and unsatisfactory guess is that Barney being in drag might echo the dissemblance elsewhere. okay it doesn’t mean anything. Better than this is how the camera contemplates the silent bucolic scenario
in the wallpaper as it fails to disclose or suggest the cataclysm it so gently masks
Scary moment: great pause by Hackman when phone rings (see his listening, disbelieving shadow in the other room.)