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Francis Ford Coppola Writing An Epic About An Italian American Family, Says Future Of Film Is “Live Cinema”

Francis Ford Coppola Writing An Epic About An Italian American Family, Says Future Of Film Is "Live Cinema"

After a a stream of indie films, experiments that had a middling reception from critics and audiences alike, Francis Ford Coppola is ready to return to the monied world of studio filmmaking. And he said as much in 2012. “I learned what I learned from my three smaller films, and wanted to write a bigger film. I’ve been writing it. It’s so ambitious so I decided to go to L.A. and make a film out of a studio that has all the costume rentals, and where all the actors are,” he said at the time. And he’s still working on it.

Dropping by the Produced By Conference earlier this month, the director revealed (via Variety) that he was writing “a multi-generational saga about an Italian American family not unlike his own.” So, a return to the kind of storytelling that anchored “The Godfather“? It kinda sounds like it. Back in 2012, Coppola shared details of a project he was working on at the time, one that he said he was nearly ready to start shooting. “My story is set in New York. I have a first draft. I’m really ready for a casting phase,” he said. “Movies are big in proportion to the period. It starts in the middle of the ‘20s, and there are sections in the ‘30s and the late ‘40s, and it goes until the late ‘60s.”

Clearly that didn’t quite happen, and we’d wager that even someone of Coppola’s stature will find it hard in today’s studio environment to sell them on a big, sweeping, costume drama. (Someone please tell Coppola about HBO). Anyway, we’ll see what, if anything, comes of it, but the director is still pushing the future of cinema as a “live” experience. You might remember that when he was out doing the rounds for “Twixt,” he had plans for a roadshow (which never really materialized after savage reviews for the film) where he would “remix” the movie on the fly from his iPad (which he demonstrated at Comic-Con). And he thinks the future of film is headed in a similar direction, where movies can be presented as they happen.

“The cinema can be composed for the audience while they’re seeing it,” Coppola said. “Movies no longer have to be set in stone and can be interpreted for an audience.” He added: “Live cinema could be like live theater. Streaming will be broadcasting.” Um…we’ll see about that.

Either way, we’re just glad that Coppola is writing a large scale drama, and we’ll be happy to see it the old-fashioned way, thank you very much.

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Roger Armbruster

A curious coincidence relating to Coppola’s project of a multi-generational Italian-American family. My novel, "Three Marias: A Sicilian Story," published by Legas in March 2013 is a fiction-inspired by fact story of my Sicilian family beginning in Castellammare del Golfo in 1892, concluding in Corona, Queens in 1980.


Yes!! Coppola is back… and with new visions on the future of cinema.. awesome… "live experience" may be one of the many things that will encompass the future of cinema… That said, imho, the future of cinema will also be computers that will read who's on the audience, and will know all about us because it will work in coalition with Google and/or Facebook to know everything, from the places you visit, to the things you like, and so the movie will change depending on who's in the audience – adding and subtracting scenes, and off course changing the brands that are inserted in the movie to adapt to the people that are there. I believe the future of movies will also be niche, small ethnic stories such as the one mr Coppola wants to do, since everyone is tired of Hollywood only showing the same faces and races… Ultimately the future of movies may also be "actor-less": people will be able to scan their entire bodies and have an avatar of themselves for their social media, shopping, and off course for their movie experience… allowing characters in a movie to change into the avatars of those who are in the audience… so, basically you go to the movies to see you and your friends acting on a new story. my 2 cents.

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