Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Just 'cause you feel it doesn't mean its there

One of my favorite film genres is the paranoid 70s thriller. I have a small problem with the genre which I must clear up first. One of the messages of these movies is that dark forces control American society so any active involvement in politics is foolish at best, and dangerous at worst. This is such a pernicious influence that I wonder if THEY didn't make these movies with that idea in mind! (just kidding, don't get all fired up conspiracy theorists!)

Anyway, here are some of my favorites:

The Conversation: Gene Hackman plays a top surveillance expert spying on a couple and then feels that murder may in the offing. It's set in San Francisco which is one of the best movie towns around and is creepy. It is also a bit more relevant in light of all the wire tapping programs we are hearing about. Hackman does a great job exploring what it means to be a professional voyeur.

Three Days of the Condor: The most conventional of these movies, Three Days starts out with a bang. CIA analyst Robert Redford heads out of his NYC office for a sandwich and upon return finds out his whole team has been whacked. Then it becomes a chase movie, but a very good chase movie. I especially liked Max Von Sydow's assasin who details a bleak moral world view.

The Parallax View: This one should come with a warning label: Absolutely not for conspiracy theorists. It be like showing Open Water to someone afraid of sharks. It's that dark. What I liked about it, aside from some great scenes, like the opener on Seattle's Space Needle, is the depiction of what would really happen if an inexperienced person attempted to expose a massive conspiracy.

If you watched all three of these in a row you might feel the need to gather the family and head to the most deserted corner of your state. So take them slowly.


Steve said...

The paranoid movie thriller had its bound equivalent, as well, and like the movies you don't see the books very much any longer (with the notable exception of anything Dan Brown writes). Remember when everything Robert Ludlum wrote topped the bestseller list? What I recall about his books is that they were somewhat repetitious if you read them sequentially but that the first one or two you picked up really blew your doors off. I remember reading most of The Bourne Identity in a weekend. The film version of that one was not bad, either, although I usually don't much like Matt Damon.

Tripp said...

Yes I recall liking many Ludlums esp Gemini contenders and the Aquitaine Progression. I liked them a lot, but I was also 16 or so and also really liked the Rat Bastards.

Yes, I liked the Matt Damon film version< he surprisingly good as action hero guy.