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VF: Coppola Continued

VF: Coppola Continued

No matter how good or bad his new film Youth Without Youth may be, I will never tire of hearing/reading stories from Francis Ford Coppola. The legendary filmmaker opens up to Vanity Fair about his career, and the magazine has posted an online exclusive which continues the piece with some thoughts on his classic filmography. From Bruce Handy’s interview:

BRUCE HANDY: In the last few years you’ve released expanded, recut versions of Apocalypse Now [1979] and The Outsiders [1983], your adaptation of the S. E. Hinton young-adult novel, with Matt Dillon and Ralph Macchio. Are there any other of your films you’d like to go back into and rework?

FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA: I only did those things because American Zoetrope [his film company] was always very advanced technologically. Since we were pioneers in electronic editing, and we had all the original footage, it was possible to say, “You know, we did that movie and cut it down, and it’d be nice to have it back the way it was before.” When your film is about to come out, you’re really looking at either success or failure. So you do things to hopefully have success. And maybe they’re not the right things to do for the film.

With The Outsiders, I got so many letters from kids saying, “Oh, we love The Outsiders, and we love Matt Dillon, and we love all the blah-blah-blah. But where’s the scene where such and such? And where’s the scene where—?” And I had shot all those scenes. Then my little granddaughter’s class was reading The Outsiders and they wanted me to come and talk to them. So I quickly went back and looked for the old cut and put it together, with all the scenes I knew they were reading in the book. And I thought it was better than the originally released version.

The French distributor for Apocalypse had seen a cut when it was—you know, when you start editing, they’re very long, the first assemblies. And he said, “Aw, there were all these scenes and images—I never forgot them. Would you ever put them back?” And I said, “I don’t know. You know, who’d want to see it? The movie already is long.” So, in other words, these projects were sort of casual. It was: O.K., we’ll put it in.

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