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The Parallax View

Screening on Film
Directed by Alan Pakula.
With Warren Beatty, Paula Prentiss, Hume Cronyn.
US, 1974, 35mm, color, 102 min.

Willis collaborated with director Alan Pakula on a trilogy of films that established the paranoid thriller as one of the touchstones of 1970s American cinema. After Klute (1971) and All the President’s Men (1976), The Parallax View offers perhaps the most perfect example of the genre through its tale of a sinister and far-reaching conspiracy of ruthless political assassination. Willis is a master at conveying omnipresent yet invisible menace in scenes alternately wrapped in his signature shroud of darkness and bathed in a cool, cruel, blinding daylight. The harrowing climactic sequence of The Parallax View - an incredible example of what the “pure cinema” championed by Hitchcock in which the story is propelled by expressive image and montage over dialogue -contrasts the made-for-TV brightness of a political rally with the nebulous, pulsing shadows in the wings, whispering behind the lights and the cameras.

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