Francis Ford Coppola premieres Megalopolis in Cannes

Cannes, France (AFP) – Francis Ford Coppola On Thursday he premiered his self-financed EP “Megalopolis” in concert cannes Film Festival, Revealing a hugely ambitious passion project the 85-year-old director has been thinking about for decades.

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

No premiere this year was more awaited at Cannes than “Megalopolis,” on which Coppola spent $120 million of his own money after selling part of his wine holdings. No different Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” was released about 45 years ago“Megalopolis” arrived accompanied by rumors of production disruption and doubts about its potential appeal.

Coppola’s revelations defy easy categorization. It’s a fantasy story set in a future New York City about an architect (Adam Driver) with a grand vision for a more harmonious city, and whose greatest talents include the ability to start and stop time. Although “Megalopolis” is set in the near future, it is crafted in the form of a Roman epic. The chauffeur character is named Cesar and New York in the film includes a modern coliseum.

Director Francis Ford Coppola gathers his family members as well as the stars of his new film “Megalopolis” including Adam Driver, Aubrey Plaza, Laurence Fishburne, Nathalie Emmanuel and Shia LaBeouf on the red carpet at Cannes.(May 16)

The cast includes Aubrey Plaza as an aspiring TV journalist named Wow Platinum, Giancarlo Esposito as the town mayor, Laurence Fishburne as Cesar’s chauffeur (and the film’s narrator), and Shia LaBeouf as an unpleasant cousin named Claudio.

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

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

After the screening, the Cannes festival audience gave a long ovation for Coppola and the film. Finally the director took the microphone to emphasize the ultimate meaning of his film.

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

Many of the reviews were very bad. Peter Bradshaw described it for The Guardian as “hyped and overblown”. Tim Grierson of Screen Daily described it as a “disaster” that was “hampered by arbitrary planning and excessive anesthesia”. Kevin Maher wrote for The Times of London that this was a “head-destroying abomination”. Critic Jessica Kiang said that “Great Cities” “is a folly of gigantic proportions, as if observing the actual fall of Rome.”

But some critics admired the film’s ambition. Admiringly, New York Magazine’s Bilge Ebiri said the film “may be the craziest thing I’ve ever seen.” David Ehrlich of IndieWire praised the “creatively uninhibited approach” which “may not have resulted in a surplus of overly cohesive scenes, but it supports the entire film with a looseness that makes it nearly impossible to look away.”

“Is it an act of arrogance, a colossal folly, a bold experiment, or an imaginative attempt to capture our messy contemporary reality, both political and social, through the kind of high-concept storytelling that is rarely attempted anymore?” he wrote. David Rooney for The Hollywood Reporter. “The truth is, it’s all those things.”

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

Coppola is looking for a distributor for “Megalopolis.” Before its premiere, the film was purchased for some European territories. Megalopolis — which Coppola believes is best seen on IMAX — will be shown globally on the company’s large-format screens, IMAX CEO Richard Gelfond said.

In many places in “Megalopolis,” Coppola, who once wrote the book “Live Cinema and Its Techniques,” experimentally pushes against the conventions of filmmaking. At Thursday’s screening, a man appeared midway through the film, walked across the stage to the microphone and asked a question to Driver’s character on the screen above.

Several weeks before Cannes, Coppola screened his own film Megalopolis in Los Angeles. News quickly leaked out that many were confused by the pilot film they had just seen. “There are no good business prospects for him,” one attendee told Bock.

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