The Parallax View | Movie Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

The Parallax View 

Alan Pakula's bleak 1974 film doesn't just riff on the Kennedy assassinations (JFK's killing was just the beginning; both political assassinations in this film clearly reference Robert Kennedy's murder) but draws its real inspiration from the growing cultural currency of "conspiracy" that found credence in the troubled mid-1970s. And the paranoia runs deep: Here, it's not just a single conspiratorial action and cover-up. Our intrepid shaggy news reporter (the post-Watergate hero) discovers an ongoing conspiracy perpetuated by a shadowy cabal, of unclear motivations, folded covertly into faceless corporate America. Thus reporter Frady (Warren Beatty) seeks not just to uncover the truth, but to circumvent future actions. And ironically, the film posits that the more committed to idea of the conspiracy one is, the more likely one is to lose control of the truth and be undone by yet another conspiracy. The widescreen cinematography from Gordon Wills isolates Frady in shadows and flat long shots, and makes the visual "truth" all the more elusive. Three cameras



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