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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Coppola Redux

Just two notes on the Coppola screening story that broke here on the blog last week.
1. Spielberg was not in attendence.
2. Coppola’s camp insists that the cut shown to the group is a final cut.
Personally, I have no idea why it would be a final, given that the film has not been shown to distributors yet and a room filled with some of the most talented directors in the world might have an insight or two about how to make it better… but that’s what they insist and so I report it to you.
There is also coverage of the event in the SF Chronicle right here.

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4 Responses to “Coppola Redux”

  1. The Carpetmuncher says:

    How exciting is it to have Coppola making personal movies again…
    I was even excited when he did The Rainmaker, because while it wasn’t of the quality of his great films, you could see the master at work there, with beautiful framing, score, acting…
    Great news!

  2. Roman says:

    1. I’m not sure what the point of this statement is. The story you link to claims that “Spielberg, Lucas, and Scorsese”. So, I take it, he WAS there after all.
    And, by the way, Brian DePalma wasn’t there ;). Not sure about John Milius…
    2. This could be an ego thing. Coppola is the one who financed the movie so he had the right for the “final cut”. If he feels like the movie is done, nobody is going to force him to change it.
    Besides, do you really think that despite the fact that they are incredibly talented director’s they would give Coppola any sort of advice, especially after he called it his “most personal film”.

  3. Roman says:

    Nevermind. I just re-read the article and realzied what you were saying.
    Please ignore the first part of my previous post.

  4. mutinyco says:

    Yeah, I don’t think he intends to change anything for anybody. It’s his movie. He OWNS it. This is how he always wanted to do things. He waited a decade to finance his own movies. Waited 25 years to pick up where he was in the early ’80s.
    He’ll take it to Cannes as his personal film. And work it from there.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
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“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon