Dirty Pretty Things

Dir: Stephen Frears, 2002. Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Audrey Tautou, Sophie Okonedo. Mystery/Thriller.

Who the hell is hounding you in the BMW
How the hell he find you, 147'd you
Feds gonna get you
Pull the strings on the hood
One paranoid youth blazin' thru the hood 

– M.I.A. “Galang”

In the introduction to his published screenplay of Chinatown Robert Towne considers the depressing state of contemporary cinema in a Hollywood decades removed from Chinatown and the New Hollywood of the 1970s. For him it's the overload of expository dialogue meant to move the plot along and wooden, one-dimensional quality of characters in current films that kills any suspense or drama.

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Posted by:
Jed Leland
Sep 10, 2013 8:26pm

The Conversation

Dir: Francis Ford Coppola. 1974. Starring: Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, John Cazale. English. Suspense/Thriller

Though Francis Ford Coppola is best known as director of bona fide American classics such as the Godfather and Apocalypse Now, The Conversation may be his purest offering of artistic expression. And though not autobiographical, the film is certainly personal and undeniably haunting.

Gene Hackman stars as Harry Caul, a lonely surveillance expert hired by a mysterious agency to record a seemingly benign conversation between a young couple. Though Caul is meant to remain unattached and unconcerned with the contents of the conversation, he soon finds himself becoming personally involved, fearing for the safety of the couple and the possibility that he may unwittingly play a role in their demise.

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Posted by:
Mar 3, 2008 2:44pm
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