05 The Conversation / Blow Up / Blow Out: A Film Triptych

Jun 28, 2018, 04:00 PM

After a hiatus, we're back with an episode about my favorite film of all-time: Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 paranoid thriller, THE CONVERSATION. 

THE CONVERSATION has a special relationship with two other films: Antonioni's BLOW UP, which preceded and inspired it, and Brian De Palma's BLOW OUT, which is influenced by both movies. 

This episode explores the interconnection between the three through their music, sound design, and especially their thematic interests which include reality, perception, truth, and privacy. 

Naturally SPOILERS for the three movies, which do have some surprising twists and turns. I'm also including a spoiler warning for Hitchcock's VERTIGO as that film's plot has a special relationship to BLOW OUT. 

Show Notes:

0:00:00 - Introduction

0:03:00 - Blow Up Intro

0:04:15 - Herbie Hancock / Music as Setting & Counterpoint

0:08:28 - The Blow Ups: Narrativized Reality

0:11:58 - Persona Music: Bullitt, Pelham, Dirty Harry

0:13:30 - The Conversation Intro

0:16:00 - Harry Caul's Theme

0:20:45 - The Assignment Theme

0:22:00 - Theme Melding / Filtering and Processing

0:25:27 - Amy's Theme: Harry & Relationships

0:31:13 - The Ending & Legacy

0:36:30 - Blow Out Intro / De Palma & Hitchcock

0:39:35 - Coed Frenzy: Disco & Rock

0:43:40 - Recording & Conspiracy / National Mood

0:51:03 - Suspense Music: Burke Materail, Psycho

0:53:48 - Tragic Love: Jack & Sally's Theme, Vertigo

1:03:45 - Truth & Perception in the Trio

1:05:05 - Outro / Sources / Social Media / "Theme from The Conversation"

Please subscribe, rate, review and/or leave a comment on iTunes. For other queries, email us at kinotes.podcast@gmail.com. We’re also on Twitter: @kinotespodcast and @nicknylen (my personal handle).

All episodes are written and produced by Nick Nylen.


Available on Amazon: "David Shire's The Conversation: A Film Score Guide" by Juan Chattah. 

Available on Amazon: Film commentaries from THE CONVERSATION (Francis Ford Coppola & Walter Murch, on Blu-ray),  BLOW-UP (Peter Brunette, DVD only). David Forgac’s essay “BLOW-UP: In The Details” included in the CRITERION COLLECTION release of BLOW-UP. 

Podcasts on iTunes: The Canon (episode & commentary on BLOW OUT), Soundtracking with Edith Bowman (James Mangold interview about LOGAN), Steven Benedict (BLOW UP, THE CONVERSATION, BLOW OUT episodes)

Interview with David Shire for ZODIAC at Film Score Monthly (subscribe at their website)

If you liked this podcast, check out The Discarded Image video essay on THE CONVERSATION entitled “Who’s Tracking Who?” on YouTube. https://youtu.be/dgAdI4pxlTM

You might also check out Drew Morton’s video essay on Vimeo, entitled CROSS-CUT, which connects BLOW UP, THE CONVERSATION, and BLOW OUT, entirely with visuals. https://vimeo.com/109405354