CAST: MICHAEL PARKS, MAYA SANSA, ANDREA TIDONA, BRUCE MCGUIRE, AND JAMES PARKS.
WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY: GIACOMO MARTELLI.
2007 105MIN. RATED R.
<NO SPOILERS, BASED ON TRUE ACCOUNTS>
In 1952 a secret organization known as the Black Chamber was reborn under executive order as the National Security Agency. It was tasked with code making, code breaking and collecting foreign communication intelligence. Five years later the first man-made satellite was launched into orbit. Today (50 years later), more than 3000 satellites now monitor all phone calls, fax’s, emails, and more,,,
THE LISTENING is a stylish spy thriller in the vein of “Sneakers”, and “24”.
I was expecting a low budget B-movie, what I found instead was a polished film with a serious no bullshit story to tell, and a great cast you’ve never heard of…
James Wagney (Michael Parks), is a veteran Cold War NSA Echelon technician who’s heard it all, until one day when he’s tasked to monitor phone conversations for an outside agency. Led by the morally challenged Tony Ash (James Parks), Wendall Cranshaw Technologies is introducing a new spy technology called “Tumble-Weed”. James is unhappy with the level of clearance Tony’s men are given, and after the program is compromised has serious problems with the methods of interrogation conducted on an innocent woman (Sansa).
With the help of his long standing contacts he goes rogue in order to save her life and expose the Tumble-Weed program.
Great writting and great all around performances in this film! Michael Parks reminds me of Robert Redford and Jon Voight, with a dash of Eastwood, (who is this guy?) He had a role in Kill Bill, but he really stands out in this film. James Parks goes over the top as Wendall Cranshaw’s amoral point man. Parks really delivers a stand out performance. I didn’t expect this film to impress me but it did. Solid performances all around, and a compelling yet factual story put this one over the top. The events and subtle references to real life conspiracies did not go unnoticed. THE LISTENING is a hugely underrated, well produced spy drama that I highly recommend…
Unfortunately there’s 0 bonus features on the dvd.