I’ve always felt that the piano score for The Conversation might be the film’s most innovative, and its most driving, aspect. Much has been written about Walter Murch’s use of sound, Gene Hackman’s aggressively pained/paranoid performance (and the invention of the “jazz freak out”), and the subtleties of Coppola’s script. Yet, above all, what makes this film tick is the circus-like sadness of its music.
I revisited The Conversation last night and again David Shire’s lonely piano transcended the rest of the picture. One of the special feature of the Blu-ray disc is this treat of a interview between Coppola and Shire. You get the sense that Shire is a humble man who has no idea how legendary his work really is. At one point he even gives all the credit for his score to Murch. A fun watch. (sorry for the German subs)