How The Conversation and Enemy of the State portray the fears of surveillance.

How The Conversation and Enemy of the State Foresaw Our Age of Ubiquitous Surveillance

How The Conversation and Enemy of the State Foresaw Our Age of Ubiquitous Surveillance

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June 20 2017 8:00 AM
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Conspiracy Thrillers Movie Club: The Conversation and Enemy of the State

Before 9/11, the idea of constant government surveillance seemed extreme. Now we take it for granted.

Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photos by © 2003 - Paramount Pictures All Rights Reserved and © 1998 Touchstone Pictures.
Gene Hackman in The Conversation and Will Smith in Enemy of the State.

Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photos by © 2003 - Paramount Pictures All Rights Reserved and © 1998 Touchstone Pictures.

To learn more about and join Slate’s Conspiracy Thrillers Movie Club, visit Slate.com/thrillers.

In the third episode of Slate’s Conspiracy Thrillers Movie Club, Sam Adams and writer and theater director Isaac Butler talk about Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation and its unofficial sequel, Tony Scott’s Enemy of the State. They discuss how both films portrayed the paranoia of being watched, and how the concept of surveillance had to be explained to a naïve pre-9/11 audience.

Some supplementary links mentioned in the episode: