By Steve Daly
Updated March 17, 2020 at 02:49 AM EDT
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The Conversations

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What’s a novelist like Michael Ondaatje (”The English Patient”) doing in The Conversations, a Q&A with Oscar-winning film and sound editor Walter Murch? They met during the making of the movie version of his novel, whereupon the writer discovered what cinema cognoscenti have known for decades: Murch was responsible for some of the most inspired audiovisual raptures in ”American Graffiti” (the found-sound use of radios in the background), the ”Godfather” films (that murder by Michael Corleone keyed to a screeching subway train), and of course ”The Conversation” (wherein Murch dissected his own voyeuristic profession).

Ondaatje’s attempts to inform his own craft by illuminating Murch’s feel like a stretch, but that distraction aside, these conversations make for master-recording-level movie history.

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The Conversations

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