Francis Ford Coppola debuts ‘Megalopolis’ in Cannes

CANNES, France (AP) — Francis Ford Coppola presented his self-financed opus “Megalopolis” on Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, unveiling an exciting and extremely ambitious project that the 85-year-old director has been thinking about for decades.

Reviews ranged from “insanity of gargantuan proportions” to “the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.” But certainly, once again, Coppola got everyone talking at Cannes.

No debut this year was more eagerly anticipated at Cannes than “Megalopolis,” in which Coppola invested $120 million of his own money after selling part of his wine estate. Not unlike “Apocalypse Now” by Coppola 45 years ago“Megalopolis” arrived trailed by rumors of production troubles and doubts about its potential appeal.

What Coppola revealed defies easy categorization. It is a fable set in a futuristic New York about an architect (Adam Driver) who has a grandiose vision of a more harmonious metropolis and whose considerable talents include the ability to start and stop time. Although “Megalopolis” takes place in the near future, it is designed as a Roman epic. Driver’s character is named Cesar, and the film’s New York includes a modern Colosseum.

Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola brings family members in addition to the stars of his new film “Megalopolis,” including Adam Driver, Aubrey Plaza, Laurence Fishburne, Nathalie Emmanuel and Shia LaBeouf, to the Cannes red carpet. (May 16)

The cast includes Aubrey Plaza as an ambitious television reporter named Wow Platinum, Giancarlo Esposito as the Mayor, Laurence Fishburne as Cesar’s driver (and narrator of the film), and Shia LaBeouf as an obnoxious cousin named Claudio.

Coppola, wearing a straw hat and holding a cane, walked the Cannes carpet Thursday, often clinging to the arm of his granddaughter, Romy Coppola Mars, while the soundtrack of “The Godfather” played on the loudspeakers. -festival speakers.

Adam Driver, Francis Ford Coppola, Laurence Fishburne and Kathryn Hunter (Photo by Scott A Garfitt/Invision/AP)

After the screening, the Cannes audience gave Coppola and the film a long standing ovation. The director finally took the microphone to underline the ultimate meaning of his film.

“We are one human family and it is to them that we should pledge allegiance,” Coppola told the crowd. He added that Esperanza is “the most beautiful word in the English language” because it means hope.

Many reviews were extremely bad. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw called it “megablocked and mega boring”. Tim Grierson for Screen Daily called it a “disaster” “hampered by arbitrary plotting and paralyzing excess.” Kevin Maher of the Times of London wrote that it was a “stunning abomination.” Critic Jessica Kiang said “Megalopolis” “is a madness of such gargantuan proportions that it’s like watching the actual fall of Rome.”

But some critics responded with admiration at the film’s ambition. Bilge Ebiri of New York Magazine fondly declared that the film “might be the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.” David Ehrlich for IndieWire praised a “no-holds-barred creative approach” that “may not have resulted in a surplus of dramatically coherent scenes, but it underpins the entire film with a freedom that makes it almost impossible to turn away the look “.

“Is it a work of remote hubris, a gigantic madness or a daring experiment, an imaginative attempt to capture our chaotic contemporary reality, both political and social, via genre of large-canvas, high-level storytelling that is rarely attempted today? “” wrote David Rooney for The Hollywood Reporter. “The truth is, it’s all of those things.”

“Megalopolis” is dedicated to Eleanor Coppola, the director’s wife died last month.

Coppola is looking for a distributor for “Megalopolis”. Prior to its premiere, the film was acquired for select European territories. Richard Gelfond, chief executive of IMAX, said “Megalopolis” — which Coppola said is best viewed on IMAX — will be projected globally on the company’s large-format screens.

In many places in the “Megalopolis”, Coppola, who wrote the book “Live Cinema and its Techniques”, experimentally opposes cinematic conventions. At a screening Thursday, a man appeared in the middle of the film, walked across the stage to a microphone and asked a question of Driver’s character on the screen above.

Several weeks before Cannes, Coppola privately screened “Megalopolis” in Los Angeles. Word quickly spread that many were baffled by the experimental film they had just watched. “There are no commercial prospects and that’s good for him,” one participant told Puck.

Gn entert
News Source : apnews.com


With a penchant for words, Eleon Smith began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class. After interning at the New York Times, Smith landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim. Though writing is his passion, Eleon also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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