I’m working on a film discussion question and need an explanation to help me learn.

  • The Conversation (Coppola, 1974)

Answer one of the prompts below regarding the use of Sound (and to a lesser extent, editing, cinematography, and mise-en-scene) in The Conversation. Your response should be between 300-500 words and should include minimal plot summary. Assume that your reader has seen the film but please do set up specific scenes with a sentence or two if you plan on discussing them in depth. It’s often helpful to focus on a specific scene or shot for careful detailed analysis as a means of supporting a larger claim. 

You are required to use 2 terms from the Sound lectures (week4), 1 term from the editing lectures (week3), 1 term from the cinematography lectures (week2) and, 1 term from the mise-en-scene lectures (week1).

Some questions to help guide your thought process are below (you do not need to answer all of them, or any of them necessarily. They are simply suggestions to guide your analysis, if you need help getting started):

1. How does the film trouble the distinction between internal and external diegetic sound? How does that ambiguity contribute to our understanding of the plot or characters?

2. How does sound contribute to our sense of perspective (i.e., where we are and whose point of view we share) in any given scene?

3. How does sound participate in the creation of the mood of paranoia, or the film’s themes of exposure and vulnerability?

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