Love the movies or cinema or films? How about cinematography, production deals, or trailers? This is the headcycle to talk about movies.
"We live in a box of space and time. Movies are windows in its walls. They allow us to enter other minds, not simply in the sense of identifying with the characters, although that is an important part of it, but by seeing the world as another person sees it."
-- Roger Ebert
Noir is a genre that seems to have fallen out of favor
Noir was big in the 40s and 50s, and then again in the 70s. The resurgence was "neo noir".
There wasn't anything "neo" about it. It's a tried and true genre that will be around forever.
The basic set up is a protagonist - usually a male private investigator - is called on by a mysterious figure (usually a woman) to investigate something.
The story is always a "who done it", but by the end no one really knows who done it, and the main characters usually meet a terrible fate.
The best book about the subject is The Dark Side of the Screen: Film Noir (although the digital copy wasn't really well received - get the original hardback if you can find a copy).
In this world of "who done it" the protagonist is usually a very cynical or a very naive character who is called into action against their will.
In 1974 Francis Ford Coppola made The Conversation in between The Godfather and The Godfather Part II. The next year The Godfather Part II and The Conversation were both nominated for best picture, as was Chinatown.
The Godfather Part II won.
While I'm a fan of The Godfather I think The Conversation is better. When talking about Coppola no one can dismiss Apocalypse Now - another very dreary and dark film - but I'll aways return to Harry Caul and his weird descent into madness.
The snapshot of San Francisco in the 60s (yes it was filmed in the 70s, but the atmosphere is of a much earlier age) is a time capsule into a world that no longer exists.
I'm not going to go into tropes, character arc, cinematography, direction, etc, but the first 5 minutes of The Conversation is the best sound design ever.
I've watched friends try to adjust their televisions because they thought something was "wrong with the sound" when The Conversation starts.
The last scene is pretty much the epitome of existentialist dread and it's one of the most striking scenes in any movie I've ever seen.
If you are a fan of movies (or film, or "cinema") and you haven't seen The Conversation, you should.