“Megalopolis”: It took Francis Ford Coppola half his life to make this movie | EUROtoday

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NIt took Francis Ford Coppola lower than half his life to make the movie “Megalopolis” – and that’s saying one thing, since Coppola is now 85 years outdated. In 1977, after “Apocalypse Now”, he got here up with the thought for a brand new epic, a drama like that of historic Rome, which he wished to switch to trendy America, simply as he had moved Joseph Conrad's “Heart of Darkness” from colonial Africa to post-colonial Africa Vietnam had transplanted.

Coppola's “Megalopolis” is named “New Rome” and is definitely identifiable as New York; you always see pseudo-Roman column structure mixed with skyscrapers. In a form of indoor Circus Maximus there are chariot races (with horses) and gladiator fights (with wrestlers), however above all there’s an endlessly pleasure-seeking higher class.

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“Our American republic is not much different than the ancient Roman one,” intones Laurence Fishburne’s narrator voice, his director reveals intimately the decadence of the wealthy and asks the query of when a world empire should collapse: “When people no longer believe in it.”

“The Future of the World”

The parallel may be very clear within the names: Adam Driver because the inventor is named Cesar Catilina (Catilina was a politician who tried to overthrow the Roman Republic), Jon Voight because the moneybag Hamilton Crassus III. alludes to Crassus, historic Rome's worst profiteer, and Giancarlo Esposito's Franklyn Cicero is the mayor of New Rome who depends on a “keep it up!”

Manager Francis Ford Coppola

Manager Francis Ford Coppola

Quelle: image alliance/ dpa/ Lehtikuva/ Emmi Korhonen

However, Cesar Catilina doesn't need that in any respect. Julia (the British Nathalie Emmanuel within the feminine lead) goes to see him: “I would like to speak to Dr. Catiline,” she says. “About what?” asks Catiline’s secretary. “About the future of the world,” solutions Julia. “Oh, about that,” replies the secretary and lets him in.

It's nothing much less. Catiline invented a fabric from which not solely untearable garments might be made, but additionally indestructible homes. He is definitely an architect, just like the protagonist of Ayn Rand's novel “The Eternal Source” – one of many influences on Coppola's movie – who additionally refuses to compromise with the institution that’s unwilling to reform. Rand is without doubt one of the pillar saints of unbridled capitalism, and Cesar Catiline the final word embodiment of Rand's perception that individualism is superior to collectivism; Catiline is the savior of Western civilization, and Elon Musk will fortunately acknowledge himself in him.

Coppolas Vision

However, Coppola's opposing pressure will not be collectivism, however fairly the collective unwillingness of the Western world to alter the comfy situations. The finish of “Megalopolis” consists of a historic compromise like in Coppola’s subsequent nice mannequin, Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis,” the place the employees unite head and hand. The Garden of Eden is created right here in entrance of the skyline of New Rome.

This is simply the distillation of a movie overflowing with concepts that threatens to drown within the abundance of its half-baked ideas. The “Megalopolis” undertaking was dripping with mega ambitions from the beginning. Coppola's imaginative and prescient, as an in depth affiliate described it, was that of a huge movie opera in 4 components, to be carried out on 4 consecutive nights at a location within the geographical middle of the United States, to which audiences would flock from all instructions the Wagnerians to Bayreuth.

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In 1983, Coppola wrote a 400-page screenplay (a “normal film” has 120), and in 1990, filming within the Roman Cinecittà studios appeared imminent, however was postponed as a result of Coppola was postponed after the failures of “One from the Heart” and “Tucker”. needed to earn cash with business movies like “Dracula” and “The Rainmaker” to repay his money owed.

Canes staunt

In 2001, desk readings of the script happened in Brooklyn with outstanding actors, together with Russell Crowe, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey and Uma Thurman. This try additionally failed, and for the following 20 years Coppola talked about his physique and abdomen undertaking time and again with out something concrete occurring.

Hollywood had lengthy since begun to dismiss “Megalopolis” as a phantom, a movie that will by no means come to fruition. The disbelief was all of the better when filming really started on November 1, 2022; Coppola had offered a part of his California wine empire to boost the $100 million funds; The filming was, just like “Apocalypse Now”, surrounded by scandal. However, occasions are completely different: within the British “Guardian”, amongst others, allegations had been made in opposition to Coppola in his dealings with actresses.

And now in Cannes the astonishment is even better that Coppola has really managed to tame the numerous unruly strands of his story. Or higher stated: to some extent.