"Does it bother you? Walking around in circles?"
- The Conversation
Francis Ford Coppola's personal favorite of all the films he ever made is The Conversation. A simple dialogue between a man and a woman in a San Francisco square— recorded, incidentally, with the same audio surveillance equipment that precipitated Nixon's demise— takes on new meaning with each new iteration, each new set of circumstances in which it is listened to. While Coppola developed the script in 1966, it wasn't until the success of The Godfather that he was able to fund it. The Conversation won the Palme d'Or at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for three Oscars.
Due to the timing of its release, The Conversation was falsely interpreted as a reaction to Watergate. Coppola, however, cites Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up (1966) as his source of influence. Both films screen this weekend as part of the "Voyeurism, Surveillance and Identity in Cinema" series at Anthology Film Archives.