The conversation

…in film class revolved around Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation last night. The conceptualization of mass culture politically made me realize the rockstar was missing in action, the counter-counter subcultural poetic hero had gone underground (anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts please contact the comments bar in this blog immediately–how can the rockstar go missing when his very presence is vital to cultural mainstream poetry in action, vital to the way we ride the wave of capitalism through language–where is his propaganda?).

The movie, of course, is one that I remember watching years ago, but not really understanding. (Gene Hackman plays a terrific wiretapper, but I kept wondering what was with the plastic raincoat he wore everytime he went outside? What on earth was the significance of a see-through, grey, plastic raincoat? Was this just another stab at mass culture? Mass capitalism? The way of mass production and the plastic way we consume?) I’ve been thinking about mass culture ever since, the universality versus the particular, and, with that, I remembered coming across this article by Adorno a while back when doing some work with Hegel. It’s not the lightest of reads, but interesting, if one is interested in any particular way in the not so mass ideas about the mass. ??

12 thoughts on “The conversation

  1. I love The Conversation, one of the few movies I own. It always makes me think twice when I walk into the bathroom in a hotel room 😮
    And when Enemy of the State came out I thought, well so that’s what became of Harry Caul, living in another paranoid warehouse x years later. I was glad he finally got a happy ending.

  2. rx*: I don’t know, that’s why I was wondering.

    Rhona: it’s a riveting movie–filling in the gaps of what we don’t know, much like we would in a novel. Can you shed light on the raincoat?

  3. Oh, I’d be trying not to shed anything else on that poor little raincoat. But I’m pretty sure I read somewhere (your link??) that it is a caul, like the other filmy things we see him through.. I would say it is his veil of paranoia. Or an imperfect protection, for a vulnerable being, from madness and betrayal. Or maybe a visual metaphor for his craft. At least he got to shed the raincoat itself in Enemy of the State.

  4. The paradox of the rockstar and/or even the rockstar poet (which shall come to fruition very soon (a blog, that is)) is though he/she is an icon and a figure of supreme social significance, by the right of his own ego, must be so above the people he entertains that he decides, once and a while, that this show is just not for him.

    I was binge drinking whiskey–like a true poet, none of this yoga/meditative bullshit–and passed out.

    Truthfully, I was sick and shall return… but maybe not next week as I am going to FLORIDA! Suckers.

  5. BTW, the reason your menu bar is dropping down is because that bark picture is too big.

  6. Ah, yes my link. (Actually the link was the second review that I had read in the morning, and it was better than the first one, but I guess it shows how awake I was this morning).

    And your link Brenda–thanks for that by the way, it’s great– said it was a mistake that named him Caul, how a slip of the finger adds such an element of intrigue to the whole show.

    And next week:Apocalypse Now .

    Rockstars, who can figure em out. Florida? How does one afford that on a students/poets salary? And why? And…

  7. Thanks for the link to the caul information Tracy. As it happens I am a caulbearer, which I am happy to read means I am destined for greatness. (Or maybe that only applies to caulbearers born in the Middle Ages. Perhaps today’s caulbearers are more likely to end up like Harry Caul, lost in betrayal and madness.)(Come to think of it, that happened to Caesar too.) I am pleased to report that my mother did not save my caul as a family heirloom.

  8. Rhona, a caulbearer, that’s too cool; there’s a poem in that somewhere.

    I keep thinking that I’ve read somewhere that the caul used to be eaten to bring good fortune, or ward off bad luck, but maybe not.

    Funny then, in the movie, that they didn’t have Harry wearing a see-through, flimsy kind of hat?

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