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THE PARALLAX VIEW, JFK, RFK, etc.


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Let me add two other points that have not been mentioned yet.

1.  In the first scene, the guy who escapes from the crime and ends up on top of the space needle was a famous stunt man named Chuck Waters. That had to be a. matte shot when he falls off right? 

2. The ending assassination, is just so well done.  Where Jim Davis gets it in the back and his cart just keeps on moving into the chairs silently.  And then some kid yells out, "There he is!" And Beatty starts running toward the door and you think he is going to make it, and then McGinn shoots him. Cut to the same WC panel done the same way as the beginning.  There will be no questions.

Pakula said to Beatty, "If at the end, the viewer is not as trusting of the guy sitting next to him as he had been, then the film worked."

It was even better with me.  Like I said, i just sat there for a couple of minutes thinking, "That's America, that's the way the system works."

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1 hour ago, James DiEugenio said:

Let me add two other points that have not been mentioned yet.

1.  In the first scene, the guy who escapes from the crime and ends up on top of the space needle was a famous stunt man named Chuck Waters. That had to be a. matte shot when he falls off right? 

2. The ending assassination, is just so well done.  Where Jim Davis gets it in the back and his cart just keeps on moving into the chairs silently.  And then some kid yells out, "There he is!" And Beatty starts running toward the door and you think he is going to make it, and then McGinn shoots him. Cut to the same WC panel done the same way as the beginning.  There will be no questions.

Pakula said to Beatty, "If at the end, the viewer is not as trusting of the guy sitting next to him as he had been, then the film worked."

It was even better with me.  Like I said, i just sat there for a couple of minutes thinking, "That's America, that's the way the system works."

That’s a great criteria. It’s actually the way you would market to the masses, incrementally, subtly. It’s very powerful. The WC style panel and the way it’s shot is very ominous and the repetition is important.
Now if you think of all of the films where the president is a good guy or the CIA are saving the world, that’s also very powerful too, it cements authority as the good guys or virtuous in our minds. If you pick up “Story” by Robert McKee” you see how these formulas play out time and time again to make a desirable and marketable movie. Despite Beatty’s characters flaws, he is the virtuous archetype in the movie, the good guy. Usually the hero saves the day, not in Parallax View, he perishes and the spectre succeeds by being smarter and backed by authority. That makes for an unconventional / unexpected ending. It also opens the viewers mind to the idea that the state in the west, is not always virtuous. 

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8 hours ago, Chris Barnard said:

It's roughly 13 years before I was born but, there is something so haunting and upsetting about it all. I believe the firecracker incident is captured on film in the Netflix documentary series "Bobby Kennedy for President". 

Thanks. I'll check that out...

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6 minutes ago, Pamela Brown said:

Thanks. I'll check that out...

It’s very good. Though parts 1 & 2 are better than part 3. You will tear-up though, it’s a real window back into that era. 

The Paul Brill track “Farewell” is very moving indeed. It gets me every time. What a chance the world had to move in another direction. 

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In the film, the late John Lewis cried when he was talking about Bobby.

I did not know why until I found out that Lewis was in the crowd the night RFK made his speech in Indianapolis upon learning that King was dead.  In fact, Lewis helped arrange the rally.

Edited by James DiEugenio
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2 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

In the film, the late John Lewis cried when he was talking about Bobby.

I did not know why until I found out that Lewis was in the crowd the night RFK made his speech in Indianapolis upon learning that King was dead.  In fact, Lewis helped arrange the rally.

It choked me up watching him speak. I think that summed up what it all meant. One of the things that struck me is how different JFK, RFK and Ted were as politicians in terms of personalities. Nixon described Ted as the gregarious natural politician, JFK as a quiet and private man and RFK as having the passion and vigour of e Benedictine monk. 
 

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16 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

Let me add two other points that have not been mentioned yet.

1.  In the first scene, the guy who escapes from the crime and ends up on top of the space needle was a famous stunt man named Chuck Waters. That had to be a. matte shot when he falls off right? 

2. The ending assassination, is just so well done.  Where Jim Davis gets it in the back and his cart just keeps on moving into the chairs silently.  And then some kid yells out, "There he is!" And Beatty starts running toward the door and you think he is going to make it, and then McGinn shoots him. Cut to the same WC panel done the same way as the beginning.  There will be no questions.

Pakula said to Beatty, "If at the end, the viewer is not as trusting of the guy sitting next to him as he had been, then the film worked."

It was even better with me.  Like I said, i just sat there for a couple of minutes thinking, "That's America, that's the way the system works."

I see that Parallax View is available for free if you have Amazon Prime.  I am gearing up to watch it again.  I agree that the final scene is absolutely stunning...

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17 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

Let me add two other points that have not been mentioned yet.

1.  In the first scene, the guy who escapes from the crime and ends up on top of the space needle was a famous stunt man named Chuck Waters. That had to be a. matte shot when he falls off right? 

2. The ending assassination, is just so well done.  Where Jim Davis gets it in the back and his cart just keeps on moving into the chairs silently.  And then some kid yells out, "There he is!" And Beatty starts running toward the door and you think he is going to make it, and then McGinn shoots him. Cut to the same WC panel done the same way as the beginning.  There will be no questions.

Pakula said to Beatty, "If at the end, the viewer is not as trusting of the guy sitting next to him as he had been, then the film worked."

It was even better with me.  Like I said, i just sat there for a couple of minutes thinking, "That's America, that's the way the system works."

I watched The Parallax View for the first time ever last night, and it was so suspenseful that my palms were sweating-- not only during the Space Needle and final assassination scenes, but during the airplane flight!

What a truly remarkable film, from start to finish.  My only disappointment was the way the "Parallax" assassination program was linked to the private corporate sector, without any implied involvement by the U.S. Deep State.

I noticed that the original novel was written in 1970, shortly after Bobby Kennedy's assassination.

I also noticed that the film was panned on release by some apparent "Mockingbird" film critics in the M$M.*

*  The Parallax View - Wikipedia

 "In his review for The New York TimesVincent Canby wrote, "Neither Mr. Pakula nor his screenwriters, David Giler and Lorenzo Semple, Jr., display the wit that Alfred Hitchcock might have used to give the tale importance transcending immediate plausibility. The moviemakers have, instead, treated their central idea so soberly that they sabotage credulity."[6] 

"Time magazine's Richard Schickel wrote, "We would probably be better off rethinking—or better yet, not thinking about—the whole dismal business, if only to put an end to ugly and dramatically unsatisfying products like The Parallax View."[8][dead link]

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Talking about Mockingbird counteraction against films that threaten the power status quo :

hqdefault.jpg?sqp=-oaymwEcCOADEI4CSFXyq4

 
Trailer for our new documentary about comedy director Ted Flicker.
Edited by Joe Bauer
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17 hours ago, Chris Barnard said:

It’s very good. Though parts 1 & 2 are better than part 3. You will tear-up though, it’s a real window back into that era. 

The Paul Brill track “Farewell” is very moving indeed. It gets me every time. What a chance the world had to move in another direction. 

I will gear up for that too. 

Ironically, my first husband, 6-week-old baby and  I moved from San Francisco to Boston in early 1970 (due to his work at Mutual of New York) and ended up, almost literally, on the Kennedy steps, living in Brookline.  

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Let me just mention a point about the assassination of RFK. I don't think anyone with a reasoning mind could have believed the 'lone assassin' story about Sirhan. It was obviously fishy right from the start.  

I think Parallax View does a good job of presenting a viable alternative.  I also was disappointed that the Parallax Corp was allowed to exist in a vacuum.  That may have been necessary in order to get the film released.  It would have been valuable if there had been a scene that hinted at connecting the dots...

What I recall from watching RFK's speech and exit from the Ambassador ballroom, and then, shortly thereafter, the shouting and tumult that followed, was wondering why he was escorted through a private hotel passageway rather than down a hallway.  That raised a red flag.

Such joy that night, and in an instant, turned to tragedy. 

Edited by Pamela Brown
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I was watching that Ambassador Hotel RFK rally speech scene live as well.

Just as I watched Jack Ruby blow Oswald's guts out in the Dallas Police Department building basement on live national TV the morning of 11,24.1963.

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2 hours ago, Joe Bauer said:

Just as I watched Jack Ruby blow Oswald's guts out in the Dallas Police Department building basement on live national TV the morning of 11,24.1963.

I was 10 years old at that time.  My whole family was riveted to the TV the whole weekend.  We were watching a network that didn't show the live transfer of Oswald.  We did get the screen crawl about the shooting and soon after, Oswald's demise.

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On 3/8/2021 at 8:14 AM, Joe Bauer said:

Honestly, I had similar thoughts and a feeling that I can't articulate well that Beatty may have not been the best casting choice for the role?

Maybe too good looking?

Maybe not convincingly weary enough looking after battling alcohol addiction for years previous?

Maybe not as shaken and worried appearing?

Especially during and after he was barely escaping harrowing life and death attempts on his life?  

The rushing Dam release fight to the death, the barely saved airplane exploding incident, the creepy darkened room meeting with his Parallax handler who discovered Beatty wasn't who he claimed he was and one wrong adlibbed answer to his questions could have resulted in immediate death?

In his meetings with Hume Cronin after several of these incidents and when Cronin himself was murdered, Beatty just seemed too casual in sharing them or just getting on afterwards imo. 

Dustin Hoffman would have been waving his arms and wide eyed frantic as he was in "Marathon Man" and "All The President's Men.

Even Redford would have expressed a more scared and concerned demeanor as he was in "Three Days Of The Condor" imo.

Not a major flaw in the entire film but just an idly curious main character casting observation and contemplation.

 

Joe's is right. I remember thinking to myself that Beatty had that perfectly coiffed Hollywood long haired haircut at the time. (his next movie could have been "Shampoo") He didn't really look the part. He could have looked much more gritty, as befitting his role. But that kind of license was not uncommon at the time, and when he got into action, you could see he was pretty tough long haired guy.

Beatty was  a liberal who for a number of years considered going into politics. To me, he could have been a natural.  America likes it's liberals sort of dashing, like the Kennedy's. When I think of a politician  who was the real deal, always there to do the most for the most people, I think of Bernie Sanders and more recently Elizabeth Warren. But neither are really dashing.

Even though Liberals were running for cover in the 80's and 90's. America is just image conscious enough and surface enough,  I think they would have thrown that whole Liberal/Conservative thing out for a  figure like Beatty.  But at that time, even though there was a rather successful Ross Perot candidacy, most candidates had to have some experience in government. I'm not sure if he considered running for the California Senate or Governor. It's hard to speculate how good a politician he might be. Obviously he can't expect to suck at it and run for the Presidency.

Anyway, he ended up becoming a family man, and now he's around 83.

Edited by Kirk Gallaway
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This is the only long article I have been able to find about how the movie script changed the book.

The author of the book, Loren Singer, was on Black Op Radio one night and he said he did not like the movie.

Which, of course, is what most novelists say.

I have not read the book but this guy seems to think they improved the novel for the screen.

https://www.criminalelement.com/page-to-screen-the-parallax-view/

Edited by James DiEugenio
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