Friday, November 08, 2013
The Parallax View is a brilliant, 1974 conspiracy theory thriller, in which Warren Beatty plays a journalist passing himself off as a disaffected psycho, in order to investigate a suspicious organization called The Parallax Corporation.
Parallax seeks out psychos, and grooms them to assassinate politicians it doesn’t like. It tests each prospective candidate by showing him a highly suggestive propaganda film, just like the one below, only the film is geared in the opposite direction, to appeal to “fascist” types. Meanwhile, electrodes are hooked up to the candidate, to test his physiological responses to the images and music, to determine whether he was alternately enraged and calmed by the proper images and sounds.
The movie was directed by brilliant lefty, Alan J. Pakula, and was one of those rare movies where Warren Beatty actually cared to give a good performance. The screenplay, by Lorenzo Semple Jr., David Giler, and legendary scriptwriter Robert Towne, assumed that JFK was the victim of a massive conspiracy.
The movie afforded a breakthrough rule for Walter McGinn, as Parallax’ rep. Some of you who recall the movie, may be wondering why McGinn’s career seemed to fizzle. That is because he unfortunately died less than three years later, in an automobile accident, at the mere age of 40. At the time of his death, Walter McGinn was a very busy, very much in demand actor.
Come to think of it, Pakula also died in a freak automobile accident. Were his and McGinn’s deaths were the result of a … fascist conspiracy?
(Except for looking up the year and a couple of names, I’m going on 39-year-old memories here.)
Thanks to barrackallax for the upload, and to an anonymous reader, for the heads-up.
Published on Apr 4, 2012
This was basically a project wherein I explore media's ability to manipulate the viewer and to elicit certain thought patterns and reactions. Some may find it offensive, but there are no images any harsher than what was shown in the Parallax View montage in the original film. I hope you enjoy it.