Director: ALAN J. PAKULA

102 minutes| U.S.A.| 1974| Colour| Anamorphic| 35mm

The ultimate paranoid movie. A U.S. politician is shot in broad daylight, and during the subsequent rooftop chase, a lone assassin is cornered; silence descends; he falls to his death. A Commission enquiry rules that he acted alone and permits no further questions. Yet witnesses of the murder start dying in mysterious circumstances, and an investigative reporter (Warren Beatty) finds his own life in danger when contacted by the Parallax Organisation, which might be behind the murders – or simply a symbol of invincible corporate power to which we are all in thrall. Doubt has clouded the American Dream and here recent American history is dazzlingly transformed into baroque nightmare as a lone hero searching for light at the end of the tunnel discovers only another blind alley. The test sequence where Beatty, having infiltrated Parallax, is programmed (and maybe brainwashed) to see whether he fits their criteria for maladjusted misfit is rightly famous. For conspiracy theorists, this is a must. (Notes by Neil Sinyard).

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