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The computational turn in surveillance technologies

by Critical Commons Manager

Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation is uniquely devoted to the art and science of audio surveillance as exemplified through the character of Harry Caul, a legendary bugger played by Gene Hackman. The film is lovingly paid homage to more than 20 years later in another Hackman film about surveillance, Tony Scott's Enemy of the State. The opening surveillance scene with characters circling a fountain in a public square is overtly copied by Scott, using similar audio recording technologies, especially parabolic microphones and multi-track recording. Later in the film, a muscle car street race is resolved when a car full of investigators in a Dodge Challenger, who are unable to beat some teenagers driving a Mustang resort to data surveillance via a car phone. Instead of torque, knowing the rival driver's name, address and physical description proves the deciding factor in their competition.

A car phone and database show the power of data surveillance in The Conversation

Mastery of informatics trumps speed in a muscle car showdown

from The Conversation (1974)
Creator: Francis Ford Coppola
Posted by Critical Commons Manager