from The Hollywood Reporter

For Francis Ford Coppola’s Go-for-Broke Movies, All Roads Lead to Cannes

The director readies his self-funded epic ‘Megalopolis’ for the Croisette, with echoes of his ‘Apocalypse Now’ journey 45 years ago accompanying him.


Francis Ford Coppola, on location filming 'Apocalypse Now.'
Francis Ford Coppola, on location filming ‘Apocalypse Now.’ EVERETT

For his forthcoming one from the heart, Megalopolis, Francis Ford Coppola has once again violated the cardinal rule of the entertainment business: Never invest your own money in the show. Reports are that to bankroll the $120 million epic he has literally mortgaged the farm, or vineyard. The investment is slated to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 14.

We — and he — have all been here before. Coppola last went into hock for another long-aborning and cost-overrunning project, which 45 years ago, almost to the day, also premiered at Cannes: the now legendary Apocalypse Now (1979).

At the time, Coppola was bathing in the afterglow of one of the most astonishing back-to-back double, or triple, plays in the industry’s history: The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974), the operatic two-part saga of mob family business in which organized crime serves less as a metaphor for American capitalism than its purest expression (“Michael, we’re bigger than U.S. Steel!”); and The Conversation (1974), a prophetic vision of the intrusion of high tech surveillance into private lives. Before Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975) and George Lucas’ Star Wars (1977) set the templates for the next half century of Hollywood cinema, Coppola was the singular visionary of what was already recognized as the Second Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.

Little wonder that Coppola’s next project was awaited with eager anticipation by most and, because this is after all Hollywood, knives out by a few.

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