Francis Ford Coppola can see the future of cinema, and it’s going to be “live,” like a digital play or a virtual opera. Speaking before an overflow crowd at the closing of the Producer Guild‘s Produced By conference, Coppola said he sees a future in which movies will be presented “live” to audiences all around the world at the same time.
With the digital revolution, he said, “movies no longer have to be set in stone and can be composed and interpreted for different audiences that come to see it. Film has always been a recorded medium,” but live cinema remixes might be “30 percent pre-recorded as the actors do it live. You can do anything and you can do it live.”
Coppola said he might even essay such a “live” movie himself. Coppola, who is currently writing a saga about multiple generations of an Italian-American family (ed.: why does this somehow sound familiar?), said, “Maybe I should put my money where my mouth is and do it live.”
The Godfather of American cinema said that he is “very optimistic about the future of cinema and the world,” and he’s especially bullish on independent filmmaking. ”If not for independent filmmakers,” he said, “all we would have would be these big industrial films. The cinema is too important to allow industry high finance to stop it. Cinema is too big to be defeated.”
Said Francis Ford Coppola, for whom Willis crafted a landmark cinematographic aesthetic for The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and The Godfather Part III that influenced generations to follow: “He was a brilliant, irascible man, a one of a kind. A cinematic genius with a precise aesthetic. My favorite description was that ‘He ice-skated on the film emulsion’. I learned a lot from him.”
Willis also shot a number of films for frequent collaborator Woody Allen, including Manhattan, Annie Hall, Stardust Memories, Broadway Danny Rose, and The Purple Rose Of Cairo. He earned the first of his two Oscar nods for his work on Allen’s Zelig. “Gordy was a huge talent and one of the few people who truly lived up to all the hype about him,” Woody Allen said of his late DP. Read More »
After hitting the fall film festival circuit of Telluride, Venice and Toronto, Gia Coppola‘s edgy coming-of-age directorial debut Palo Alto based on the short story series by James Franco will bow at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 24 before its limited release on May 9. Emma Roberts portrays April, a shy, sensitive virgin who falls for introspective artist Teddy (Jack Kilmer), while negotiating a dangerous affair with her soccer coach Mr. B (James Franco). Meanwhile, Teddy’s loose cannon friend Fred (Nat Wolff) zeroes in on Emily (Zoe Levin), a promiscuous loner. Ah, high school life as set in the titular northern Cali town. Chris Messina and Val Kilmer also star. Tribeca Film, which acquired domestic rights back in December, will expand the film throughout May. Gia is Francis Ford Coppola‘s grandaughter; her father being the late Gian-Carlo who died in a 1986 boat accident. Before making her directorial debut with Palo Alto, Gia worked as a costume assistant on her aunt Sofia Coppola’s 2010 feature Somewhere and was a creative consultant on her grandfather’s vampire indie film Twixt. Speaking with Deadline at the American Horror Story: Coven PaleyFest panel, Roberts, who has been an acquaintance of Gia’s for some time, assured us that “She captures youth in a way that hasn’t been seen before on the big screen.” You be the judge:
A week before it premieres in competition at the Cannes Film Festival, On The Road has been acquired by AMC Networks. Picking up all U.S. rights to Walter Salles’ adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation classic, AMC Networks announced that its distribution labels IFC Films and Sundance Selects will release the film later this fall in theaters. The deal is estimated to be in the seven figures. Twilight star Kristen Stewart signed up in 2010 to play Marylou, the wife of the restless and free-spirited Dean Moriarty played by TRON: Legacy’s Garrett Hedlund. The film also stars Sam Riley, Kirsten Dunst Amy Adams, Tom Sturridge, Danny Morgan, Alice Braga, Elisabeth Moss and Viggo Mortensen. The screenplay is by Jose Rivera who worked with Salles on the director’s other roadtrip, 2004’s The Motorcycle Diaries. An On The Road film had been a long-term project of Francis Ford Coppola, who has been working on bringing Kerouac’s novel to the screen since 1978. Coppola serves as Executive Producer. The MK2 Production was produced by Nathanael Karmitz, Charles Gillibert, Rebecca Yeldham and Roman Coppola for American Zoetrope. Arianna Bocco, SVP of Acquisitions & Productions for Sundance Selects/IFC Films negotiated AMC’s purchase of On The Road with Cinetic Media’s Bart Walker for the producers.
The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival has filled out the rest of its slate, which consists of 268 features and 68 short films that will unspool next month. The fest announced that the likes of Brad Pitt (Moneyball), George Clooney (The Ides of March), and U2 (the Davis Guggenheim-directed docu From The Sky Down) will be among a long list of boldface names at the fest.
Toronto added 13 films to its Masters Lineup, including the North American premiere of Gus Van Sant’s Restless, and a Discovery Programme lineup that includes the international debut of the Dee Rees-directed Pariah, which premiered in January at Sundance. The fest also announced its complete lineup for Mavericks. It includes a discussion with Christopher Plummer, who stars in Barrymore, the Erik Canuel-directed adaptation of Plummer’s Tony-winning performance as actor John Barrymore; a conversation between Deepa Mehta and Salman Rushdie; a conversation with Francis Ford Coppola, whose Twixt plays Toronto; Neil Young and Jonathan Demme as they premiere the documentary Neil Young Life; Tilda Swinton as she brings We Need to Talk About Kevin to the fest; and a discussion with Sony Pictures Classics founders Michael Barker and Tom Bernard as their distribution company reaches its 20th year milestone.
Francis Ford Coppola, who last participated in Comic-Con to tout his 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula, is returning to the annual convention next month to discuss another horror project — his new film Twixt. The director will present portions of the experimental film he calls “one part Gothic romance, one part personal film, and one part the kind of horror film that began my career” on Saturday, July 23 in Hall H. (Of course, that career-beginning film was Dementia 13.) The film, which stars Val Kilmer, Elle Fanning and Ben Chaplin, incorporates live music by performance artist Dan Deacon, who will attend the panel to help demonstrate the viewing experience.
EXCLUSIVE: It’s almost like the Sundance Film Festival has started, with all the advance acquisition activity. A&E IndieFilm just acquired TV rights to Corman’s World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel, the documentary about low-budget independent icon Roger Corman. A&E becomes an investor in a film that will still be shopped for feature rights, much the way that A&E was a ground floor participant in The Tillman Story, the documentary acquired for theatrical release by The Weinstein Company after its Sundance premiere. Corman will be on hand for Friday night’s world premiere in Park City.
Directed by Alex Stapleton, Corman’s World focuses on Corman’s prolific film output, and also careers that launched in his low-budget factory that include James Cameron, Jack Nicholson, Ron Howard, Francis Coppola, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jonathan Demme and Martin Scorsese. Many of them tell their stories in the documentary. Howard once told me that at the height of his American Graffiti and Happy Days fame, he went to Corman to horse trade for the chance to direct. He agreed to star in Corman’s Eat My Dust in exchange for the chance to be a second unit director or more, on a future project. Corman rejected a bunch of Howard’s ideas, but while testing titles for Eat My Dust, Corman told Howard that another title, Grand Theft Auto, was an audience pleaser. Howard rushed to fashion a car-crash comedy around it, turning in an outline the next day. … Read More »
Four days after wrapping his gothic fable Twixt Now And Sunrise in California at his Napa estate, Francis Ford Coppola was the headline guest for the Marrakech 10th International Film Festival. There, filmmakers Roberto de Paolis and Carlo Lavagna interviewed the 71-year-old who makes some surprising revelations about himself. (De Paolis is a longtime family friend and his father, producer Valerio de Paolis, worked in Sicily on the first two installments of The Godfather ):
Martin Scorsese has issued a statement about the 6-year prison sentences slapped on Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammed Rasoulof. Along with Steven Spielberg and Francis Coppola, Scorsese spoke out on Panahi’s behalf at Cannes, when the Iranian filmmaker was first arrested.
“I was shocked and disheartened by the news of Jafar Panahi and Mohammed Rasoulof’s conviction and sentencing,” Scorsese said. “It’s depressing to imagine a society with so little faith in its own citizens that it feels compelled to lock up anyone with a contrary opinion. As filmmakers, we all need to stand up for Panahi and Rasoulof. We should applaud their courage and campaign aggressively for their immediate release.”
This follow similar sentiments of support by Iranian filmmakers Ali Samadii Ahadi (docu The Green Wave) and Maryam Keshavarz (Cirumstance) each of whom are bringing those pictures to next month’s Sundance Film Festival.
EXCLUSIVE: The Christmas holiday has so far made it difficult to rally a collective outcry from directors Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Francis Coppola, who spoke out for Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi when he was first arrested. But two Iranian filmmakers who are debuting politically-charged films at next month’s Sundance Film Festival say that a groundswell of publicity and support from the international film community could play an important role for Panahi as he appeals yesterday’s harsh 6-year prison sentence and 20-year ban from filmmaking. Panahi and Muhammad Rasoulof both drew 6-year sentences from an oppressive regime that has cast a chill on Iranian filmmakers who want to tell honest stories.
“The support will help,” said Ali Samadii Ahadi, director of the documentary The Green Wave. “It is on us to make noise and create pressure so they will understand they have a duty to the Iranian population, to care about human rights and the rights of artists. Filmmakers like Jafar are the mirror of society, they reflect what you are doing that is right and wrong. That mirror has just been broken into pieces, and society loses so much. With Jafar, the Iranian government regime has sent a message. If you involve yourself in human rights issues, you will have to pay a high price for it. They said he was part of a demonstration and was making propaganda against the regime. He never acted against Iranian law, but … Read More »
“These awards really took flight this year,” Warren Beatty effusively said to 2nd annual Governors Awards producer and Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences 1st Vice President Sid Ganis right after the ceremony ended around 11 PM Saturday night. It took place at the Grand Ballroom in the Hollywood and Highland complex where the Academy’s Post–Oscars Governors Ball is held every February. This time, these awards honored indelible actor Eli Wallach, film historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow, iconic director Jean-Luc Godard, and Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award receipient Francis Ford Coppola. “Can I use the ‘F’ word?,” Beatty asked. “I think the movie industry should tell the television industry to go F*** itself.” His likely meaning (at least in ‘Warren speak’) was that commercial interests should never compel the AMPAS to sell the Governors Awards as a TV special — a possibility raised after last year’s show — and ruin the “specialness” of the evening.
This separate lifetime achievement ceremony was created last year as a way to shorten the actual Oscar telecast and to hand out more than one honor each year in a more relaxed setting where the recipients aren’t forced to keep their acceptance speeches to 30 seconds or less. They aren’t televised and likely never will be according to Academy officials I talked to who were very pleased with the outcome. “This must have been what the original Oscars were like,” said one. And even though … Read More »
Honorary Award recipient Kevin Brownlow, Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award recipient Francis Ford Coppola, and Honorary Award recipient Eli Wallach at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences’ 2010 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood on Saturday. Honorary Award recipient Jean-Luc Godard declined to attend:
EXCLUSIVE: Francis Ford Coppola has begun quietly directing his next feature. I’m told that Coppola is shooting Twixt Now And Sunrise, a thriller with overtones of horror, and that his star is Val Kilmer. Also in the cast are Elle Fanning (Super 8) and Bruce Dern (who long ago starred in the Coppola-scripted The Great Gatsby). But the picture’s fulcrum is Kilmer, who plays a horror novelist. The film is based on a short story written by Coppola. It is shooting in Napa, on Coppola’s property. Coppola hasn’t tackled the horror genre since early in his career, when he directed Dementia 13, and of course Bram Stoker’s Dracula. And some might consider Apocalypse Now to be horror. Read More »
Beverly Hills, CA — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that, following a two-month-long cordial exchange of correspondence with Academy president Tom Sherak, Jean-Luc Godard has regretfully notified Sherak that he will not be able to attend the November 13th Governors Awards and receive his Honorary Award in person.
“He reiterated his thanks for the award,” reported Sherak, “and also sent his good wishes to the other individuals being honored the same night – Kevin Brownlow, Francis Ford Coppola and Eli Wallach – who he refers to as ‘the three other musketeers.’ ”
The November 13 dinner ceremony, which is being produced by Sid Ganis and Don Mischer, will pay tribute to Godard through film clips and commentary by his admirers. The award will be accepted on Godard’s behalf by the Academy and following the event, the Academy will arrange for the Oscar® statuette to be delivered to him in Switzerland.
EXCLUSIVE: Francis Ford Coppola has been working for 30 years to turn Jack Kerouac’s seminal Beat Generation novel On the Road into a movie. It is starting to look like it was worth the wait. Amy Adams and Viggo Mortensen are joining the Walter Salles-directed adaptation that will begin this month, I’m told. She will play Jane, the emotionally damaged junkie mother of two children and the wife of Old Bull Lee. Mortensen is going to play Lee. Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley and Tron: Legacy‘s Garrett Hedlund are also set for the pic. Script’s by Jose Rivera, who teamed with Salles on The Motorcycle Diaries. Coppola and Rebecca Yeldham are producing. The film began production today.
Adams, who next stars opposite Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in the David O. Russell-directed The Fighter, will follow On The Road by treading on more hallowed 60s ground. She’s attached to play songstress Janis Joplin in a film to be directed by City Of God helmer Fernando Mierelles that could happen next year. Mortensen just wrapped the role of Sigmund Freud in the David Cronenberg-directed A Dangerous Method.