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Megalopolis (film)

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Megalopolis
Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola
Written byFrancis Ford Coppola
Produced by
  • Francis Ford Coppola
  • Fred Roos
  • Barry Hirsch
  • Michael Bederman
Starring
CinematographyMihai Mălaimare Jr.
Edited by
Music byOsvaldo Golijov
Production
company
Release date
  • May 16, 2024 (2024-05-16) (Cannes)
Running time
138 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$120 million

Megalopolis is a 2024 American epic science fiction drama film written, directed, and produced by Francis Ford Coppola. Set in an imagined modern America following a devastating disaster, the film features an ensemble cast, including Adam Driver, Giancarlo Esposito, Nathalie Emmanuel, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Talia Shire, Jason Schwartzman, Kathryn Hunter, Grace VanderWaal, Chloe Fineman, James Remar, D. B. Sweeney, and Dustin Hoffman.

A longtime passion project for Coppola, who first conceived the idea for the film in 1977 and actively started developing it in 1983, Megalopolis underwent significant delays over the years. Coppola revived the project in 2019 by spending $120 million of his own money on the film. Filming took place from November 2022 to March 2023. The film is Coppola's first directorial effort since Twixt (2011), marking his longest gap between films.

The film was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered on May 16, 2024, and polarized critics.

Premise[edit]

An accident destroys a decaying metropolis called New Rome. Cesar Catilina, an idealist architect with the power to control time, aims to rebuild it as a sustainable utopia, while his opposition, corrupt Mayor Franklyn Cicero, remains committed to a regressive status quo. Torn between them is Franklyn's socialite daughter and Cesar's love interest, Julia, who, tired of the influence she inherited, searches for her life's meaning.[2][3]: 6 

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France.
Writer, director, and producer Francis Ford Coppola in 2001

Growing up in New York, Francis Ford Coppola was fascinated by science fiction films such as Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927) and William Cameron Menzies's Things to Come (1936) and the scientific community's history with dangerous experiments.[8] His reading of the Roman historian Sallust and William Bolitho Ryall's book Twelve Against the Gods (1929) inspired him to make a film about Lucius Sergius Catiline, who sought consulship by campaigning to eliminate debt for the poor and wealthy, but lost to Marcus Tullius Cicero, who famously denounced Catilina before the Senate for conspiring to overthrow the Roman Republic in 63 BC.[3]: 7  Coppola conceived the overall idea for Megalopolis towards the end of filming Apocalypse Now (1979) in 1977.[9]: 50  Sound designer Richard Beggs described Coppola's vision as a "gigantic opera, shown over four nights in some place as close as possible to the geographical center of the United States – and people would come from all over, as they do to Bayreuth".[10]: 181 

Coppola devoted the beginning of 1983 to developing the film, assembling four hundred pages of notes and script fragments in two months.[11]: 333  Over the next four decades, he collected clippings and notes for a scrapbook detailing intriguing subjects he envisioned incorporating into a future screenplay, like political cartoons and different historical subjects, before deciding to make a Roman epic film set in an imagined modern America.[3]: 6 [8] In mid-1983, he described the plot as taking place in one day in New York City with Catiline Rome as a backdrop, similar to how James Joyce's modernist novel Ulysses (1922) used Homer in the context of modern Dublin and how he had updated the setting of Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness (1899) from the late 1800s amid the European colonial rule in Africa to the 1970s Vietnam War for Apocalypse Now.[8][12]: 74 [13]: 215 

In January 1989, Coppola announced his intentions to endeavor on Le Ribellion di Catilina, a film "so big and complicated it would seem impossible", which biographer Michael Schumacher said "sounded much like what he had in store for Megalopolis".[11]: 409–410  It was to be shot in Cinecittà, a large film studio in Rome, Italy, where production designer Dean Tavoularis and his design team had built offices and an art studio for drafters to storyboard the film.[14]: 266 [15]: 234  The Hollywood Reporter described it as "swing[ing] from the past to the present", merging "the images of Rome ... with the New York of today".[11]: 410  Following the 1990–91 film awards season for The Godfather Part III (1990), Coppola's production company, American Zoetrope, announced several projects in development, including plans to film Megalopolis in 1991, despite lacking a finished script.[11]: 436  However, the film was postponed to "no earlier than 1996" after Coppola found himself prioritizing other projects, including Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), Jack (1996), and The Rainmaker (1997), to get out of debt accumulated from One from the Heart (1982) and Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) and fund Megalopolis.[11]: 444 [16]: 110 [17]

"Do films the same way Ingmar Bergman did them, with a little group of collaborators that you know, making a script that you wrote. Otherwise, you will finally get beaten down by the fact that you are making things that you are not really interested in, from a script that you don't fully understand, by means that you don't approve of. The question is: Can you make bigger films, like Megalopolis or Cure, in that way? Certainly, the determining factor is the cast, because with a star cast comes the financing ..."

— Francis Ford Coppola, diary entry (August 15, 1992)[18]: 28 

In 2001, Coppola held table reads in a production office in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with actors including Nicolas Cage (Coppola's nephew), Russell Crowe, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Edie Falco, James Gandolfini, Jon Hamm, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, and Uma Thurman.[8][19][20] Other actors considered for roles included Matt Dillon, approached during the filming of Rumble Fish (1983) for the role of a cadet who goes AWOL, and Parker Posey, though Coppola dispelled rumors that he had written a part specifically for Warren Beatty.[14]: 262 [21][22] Jim Steranko, who previously created production illustrations for Bram Stoker's Dracula, produced concept art for Megalopolis at Coppola's behest, described in James Romberger's master's thesis as "expansive, elaborate and carefully rendered pencil or charcoal halftone architectural drawings of huge buildings and urban plazas that appeared to mix ancient Roman, art deco and speculative sci-fi stylizations".[9]: 54  Locations proposed for filming included Montreal and New York, with an anticipated budget between $50 and 80 million.[14]: 263 [22][23] That year, Coppola and cinematographer Ron Fricke recorded second unit footage of New York City, thinking it would be simpler to do so before principal photography, with the 24-frames per second Sony F900 digital camera that George Lucas used for Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999).[3]: 8–9, 15 [8][23]

After the September 11 attacks, during which Coppola and his team were location scouting in New York, the roughly thirty hours of footage was stashed, including more material they shot two weeks after, due to its resemblance to the script, which involved a Soviet satellite crashing into Earth.[9]: 54 [14]: 263 [24] "I feel as though history has come to my doorstep", Coppola said in October, declaring his plans to rewrite the film.[23] In 2002, he shot sixty to seventy hours of second unit footage in Manhattan on high-definition video that Lucas described as "wide shots of cities with incredible detail at magic hour and all kinds of available-light material".[14]: 263 [25][26]: 82  He also disclosed his intent to self-finance the film, still in place as his next project, having become disheartened making films to pay off his debt to Hollywood.[21][27]

Production on the film eventually halted. The success of his winery and resorts meant Coppola could produce the film with his own money, which his friend Wendy Doniger said "paralyzed him": "He had no excuse this time if the film was no good. What froze him was having the power to do exactly what he wanted so that his soul was on the line."[28] In 2005, she gave him books that she deemed thematically relevant, including Mircea Eliade's Youth Without Youth (1976), a novella about a 70-year-old man struggling to complete an ambitious project. Coppola then shelved Megalopolis to self-finance a small-scale adaptation of the book, intended to be "the opposite of Megalopolis".[26]: 85 [28] In 2007, Coppola admitted that 9/11 "made it really pretty tough ... a movie about the aspiration of utopia with New York as a main character and then all of a sudden you couldn't write about New York without just dealing with what happened and the implications of what happened. The world was attacked and I didn't know how to try to do with that. I tried".[17] In 2009, in regards to the likelihood of revisiting the film, he said: "Someday, I'll read what I had on Megalopolis and maybe I'll think different of it, but it's also a movie that costs a lot of money to make and there's not a patron out there. You see what the studios are making right now."[29] In line with his films The Godfather (1972) and Bram Stoker's Dracula, where he credited Mario Puzo and Bram Stoker as the original writers, Coppola contemplated branding the film with his name as Francis Ford Coppola's Megalopolis, with the subtitle All Roads Lead to Rome, but decided against it.[8]

Pre-production[edit]

On April 3, 2019, Coppola announced his return to the project, having approached Shia LaBeouf and Jude Law for lead roles.[30][24] Coppola reportedly spent $120 million of his own money to produce the film, having sold a "significant piece of his wine empire" in Northern California.[8][31] By August 2021, discussions with actors to star in the film had begun; James Caan was set to star, having petitioned Coppola to write him a cameo role as a potential swan song, while Cate Blanchett, Oscar Isaac, Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jon Voight, Forest Whitaker, and Zendaya were in various stages of negotiations.[3]: 3 [32] Near the end of the year, Nathalie Emmanuel auditioned over Zoom while filming The Invitation (2022) in Budapest. During the session, Coppola had her participate in an acting exercise, tasking her with reciting a line from Alice Walker's novel The Color Purple (1982) in as many different contexts.[3]: 3 [33][34] By March 2022, Talia Shire (Coppola's sister) expressed her interest in joining the cast, and Isaac was reported to have passed on the project.[35][36] By May, Emmanuel, Voight, and Whitaker were confirmed for the cast, with Adam Driver and Laurence Fishburne added.[37] After Caan died on July 6, 2022, his role was given to Dustin Hoffman.[3]: 3 [38][39] Driver originally declined the lead role but reconsidered after Coppola incorporated ideas they developed during meetings together.[3]: 3 

Pre-production had begun by August 2022; Kathryn Hunter, Aubrey Plaza, James Remar, Jason Schwartzman (Coppola's nephew and Shire's son), and Grace VanderWaal joined the cast, with LaBeouf and Shire confirmed as part of it.[40][41] Plaza similarly auditioned over Zoom during the production of the second season of The White Lotus while staying at the San Domenico, the same hotel in Italy that Coppola resided in during the filming of The Godfather. Before the meeting, Coppola had emailed her the entire script and asked her to consider the role of "Wow Platinum", wanting an actress with a similar screen presence to Jean Harlow and Myrna Loy in screwball comedies from the 1930s.[3]: 3 [42] Chloe Fineman, Madeleine Gardella, Hoffman, Bailey Ives, Isabelle Kusman, and D. B. Sweeney would be added in October.[43] In 2020, Coppola had reached out to Fineman, a cast member on Saturday Night Live, after attending a theater comedy event called "The Wake for 2019", where she "eulogized" the glass ceiling, impersonating both Ivana and Melania Trump.[44][45] In January 2023, Giancarlo Esposito was confirmed to star.[46] VanderWaal, whom Coppola met through her father, wrote original songs for the film.[47] Esposito, Fishburne, Remar, Shire, and Sweeney had previously worked with Coppola.[3]: 2 

Books that the film was influenced by included Bullshit Jobs (2018), The Dawn of Everything (2021), and Debt: The First 5000 Years (2011) by David Graeber; The Chalice and the Blade (1987) by Riane Eisler; The Glass Bead Game (1943) by Hermann Hesse; The Origins of Political Order (2011) by Francis Fukuyama; The Swerve (2011) by Stephen Greenblatt; and The War Lovers (2010) by Evan Thomas.[48] The character of Cesar was based on Catiline and renamed at classicist Mary Beard's suggestion that Julius Caesar had ties with Catiline and was far more known among audiences. Coppola said the character was inspired by Robert Moses as portrayed in Robert Caro's biography The Power Broker (1974) and architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Raymond Loewy, Norman Bel Geddes, and Walter Gropius. Coppola also researched the Claus von Bülow murder case, the Mary Cunningham-William Agee Bendix Corporation scandal, the emergence of New York Stock Exchange reporter Maria Bartiromo, the history of Studio 54, and Felix Rohatyn's solution for the New York City fiscal crisis of 1975.[8] Megalon, the building material invented by Cesar, was based in part on the work of architect and designer Neri Oxman, who appears in the film as "Dr. Lyra Shir".[3]: 10, 35 

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the start of production. Before filming began, a week of rehearsals took place with theater-style exercises, much like the one Emmanuel described having in her audition.[33] Plaza described Coppola's workshop-style approach as allowing actors to improvise and provide feedback to the script, adding: "We wrote scenes and we conducted ourselves like a theater troupe, me and Jon Voight and Shia [LaBeouf]. We were writing scenes and giving them to the script supervisor. And then she would give them to Francis and sometimes he would like it and put it in. But every day he wanted to play. He ran it like it was a theater camp. There were games all day, and we were in character the whole time."[42]

Filming[edit]

The film was shot at Trilith Studios

Principal photography began on November 7, 2022, in Fayetteville, Georgia, at Trilith Studios and concluded on March 11, 2023. Filming also took place in Atlanta.[3]: 3  It was to be the first film shot on Trilith Studios' Prysm Stage, an LED virtual production volume, but due to budget constraints, the production pivoted to a "less costly, more traditional greenscreen approach".[49][50][51]

The decision to film in Georgia over the film's setting of New York was due to the state's tax benefit, studio facilities, local crews, and abundance of classical buildings to serve as sets. For the production, Coppola bought a closed drive-in Days Inn motel to reside in and accommodate the crew and his extended family. He renovated the motel to include facilities for rehearsal and post-production, including editing rooms, an ADR recording studio, and a Dolby Atmos sound mixing theater.[3]: 3 [52]

Mihai Mălaimare Jr. served as cinematographer. He previously shot Coppola's Youth Without Youth (2007), Tetro (2009), and Twixt (2011).[53] The crew utilized two Arri Alexa 65s and one Alexa LF for the first unit and an Alexa Mini LF for the second unit. Panavision provided the lenses, which included a combination of wide Sphero 65s, Panaspeeds, and specialty lenses such as the 200mm and 250mm detuned Primo Artiste, rehoused Helios, and Lensbaby for specific scenes.[3]: 16 

In reference to ancient Rome, some male actors donned Caesar cuts.[54] For Plaza, the last two weeks of the shoot overlapped with her role on the television miniseries Agatha All Along (2024). The two projects were shot on the same lot, so she was allowed to do both.[42] In August 2023, during the SAG-AFTRA strike, the film received an interim agreement from the union, possibly for reshoots.[55][56]

Alleged conflicts on set[edit]

Plaza spoke positively about Coppola's willingness to experiment and how sometimes "all of a sudden, he would have another idea. And then all of a sudden, we're shooting in a different location we didn't even plan to shoot. And then the whole day goes by and you're like, 'I had no idea any of that was going to happen'".[42] Others described that approach as "exasperating", as Coppola was hesitant to decide how the film's world should look. One crew member recalled: "He would often show up in the mornings before these big sequences and because no plan had been put in place, and because he wouldn't allow his collaborators to put a plan in place, he would often just sit in his trailer for hours on end, wouldn't talk to anybody, was often smoking marijuana ... And then he'd come out and whip up something that didn't make sense, and that didn't follow anything anybody had spoken about or anything that was on the page, and we'd all just go along with it, trying to make the best out of it."[52]

On December 9, 2022, Coppola fired most of the visual effects team, with the rest of the department, including supervisor Mark Russell, soon following. In January 2023, reports indicated the budget ballooned higher than its initial $120 million, which The Hollywood Reporter compared to Coppola's history of challenging productions, most notoriously Apocalypse Now. Due to an alleged "unstable filming environment", several crew members exited the film, including production designer Beth Mickle and art director David Scott, along with the art department.[51] Coppola and Driver contested the report.[57]

Coppola explained that he wanted Megalopolis to have a unique visual style similar to a woven mural or tapestry. Working with concept artist Dean Sherriff to translate his vision through keyframe concept art, he permitted minimal input from the art department, whose practices he found conventional, expensive, and hierarchical, as they had recently completed a Marvel production. As the budget was at risk of rising to $148 million, he decided to scale down the production by proposing to let one of the five art directors go, which led the entire team to threaten to resign. He went through with the plan, resulting in the public resignation of the art department. Production allegedly wrapped a week ahead of schedule, with the budget close to the planned $120 million. On firing Russell and replacing him with his nephew Jesse James Chisholm, Coppola said they disagreed over his demand for "live special effects", which he completed with his son and second unit director Roman Coppola as they had with Bram Stoker's Dracula.[3]: 8–9, 15 

Along with difficulties with Coppola's "old-school" approach to filmmaking, spending days completing shots practically, crew members, who remained anonymous, described him as "unpleasant", alleging that he pulled women to sit on his lap and tried to kiss female extras to "get them in the mood". In response, executive co-producer Darren Demetre said: "There were two days when we shot a celebratory Studio 54-esque club scene where Francis walked around the set to establish the spirit of the scene by giving kind hugs and kisses on the cheek to the cast and background players. It was his way to help inspire and establish the club atmosphere ... I was never aware of any complaints of harassment or ill behaviour during the course of the project."[52] When asked about the accusations by The New York Times, Coppola said: "My mother [Italia Coppola] told me that if you make an advance toward a woman, it means you disrespect her, and the girls I had crushes on, I certainly didn't disrespect them." He further went on to say that there is a photo of one of the "girls" he kissed on the cheek that her father had taken, adding: "I knew her when she was nine. I'm not touchy-feely. I'm too shy."[58]

Post-production[edit]

In March 2003, Coppola handwrote a letter to Osvaldo Golijov, asking him to compose a symphony that would have dictated the film's rhythm.[3]: 20 [59] They would go on to collaborate on Youth Without Youth, Tetro, and Twixt before returning to complete Megalopolis. Golijov wanted the score to blur the line between music and sound design. Given the ambiguity surrounding how the city and music of Rome sounded, he relied on Hollywood portrayals and composed a Roman suite inspired by Miklós Rózsa's score for Ben-Hur (1959). Coppola also asked Golijov to write a love theme in the vein of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's composition Romeo and Juliet (1870).[3]: 20–21  In February 2024, Coppola recorded the score with the Hungarian Orchestra in Budapest.[60]

Cam McLauchlin and Glen Scantlebury edited the film. Coppola had contacted McLauchlin after seeing his work on Nightmare Alley (2021). McLauchlin defined Coppola's style as theatrical, incorporating theater warm-up techniques. The scene where Cesar and Julia play tug of war on an imaginary rope was a rehearsal take that inspired them to embrace the script's eccentricity. McLauchlin and Scantlebury were tasked to work on scenes independently but transitioned toward collaboration after realizing they had enough time to keep pace with shooting and experiment with alternate versions. For a scene involving catwalks, Coppola handled disruptive noise levels by pre-recording the dialogue and playing it over a loudspeaker for wide shots. He then asked Driver to recite William Shakespeare's Hamlet, seemingly as a warm-up exercise. After filming wrapped, Coppola handed McLauchlin the first half of the film and Scantlebury the latter half, allowing them to trade sections to complete the edit. After Scantlebury moved on to another project, McLauchlin and Coppola continued editing for eight more months, during which Coppola suggested including the Shakespeare scene.[3]: 18–20 

Themes[edit]

In 1999, Coppola described the film as setting the characters of the Catilinarian conspiracy in modern New York, saying: "In many ways what it's really about is a metaphor—because if you walk around New York and look around, you could make Rome there", adding: "Ultimately what's at stake is the future, because it takes the premise that the future, the shape of things to come, is being determined today, by the interests that are vying for control ... we already know what happened to Rome. Rome became a fascist Empire. Is that what we're going to become?"[61] In 2022, he said the film had an optimistic look at humanity, and the intuitive goodness in people even in a divided climate.[62] In 2024, Coppola said he "wondered whether the traditional portrayal of Catiline as 'evil' and Cicero as 'good' was necessarily true" and described the film as a commentary for the United States, under the belief that the country's founders borrowed from Roman law to develop their democratic government without a king.[8]

Marketing[edit]

Syzygy Publishing will distribute a graphic novel tie-in to the film written by Chris Ryall and with artwork by Jacob Phillips.[63] The late author Colleen McCullough, whose book series Masters of Rome (1990–2007) partially inspired Megalopolis, wrote the novelization of the film.[64] The novels will accompany the film's release, along with a behind-the-scenes fly-on-the-wall documentary by Mike Figgis that features interviews with cast members, Spike Lee, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Coppola's late wife Eleanor Coppola, who died in April 2024.[65][66][67][68] Coppola clarified that "all three projects are independent" of him but based on his "many scripts and ideas over the decades".[69]

Release[edit]

Theatrical[edit]

Coppola saw the film in full for the first time on an IMAX screen at the company's headquarters in Playa Vista, Los Angeles. The film used camera technology for certain sequences that could cover an entire IMAX screen.[54] On March 28, 2024, a private screening of the film was presented to distributors at the Universal CityWalk IMAX Theater in Hollywood.[70]

The film premiered in competition at the 77th Cannes Film Festival on May 16, 2024.[71][72][73] Both the private industry screening and the Cannes premiere had a moment when a person walked on stage in front of the film screen and addressed the protagonist, Cesar, who seemingly breaks the fourth wall by replying in real time.[74] Jean Labadie, founder of the film's French distributor, Le Pacte, said in regards to replicating the moment: "We will work on that with every exhibitor in France to try to do it as many times as we can."[75]

Distribution[edit]

Francis Ford Coppola leaving the press conference for his film Megalopolis at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival.
Coppola in Cannes the day following the film's premiere in May 2024

Coppola and his longtime attorney Barry Hirsch, a producer on the film, said they would not decide where to debut the film until they secured a distribution partner and a firm rollout plan.[70] However, the "muted" response to the first screening made securing a distributor difficult as studios weighed the return on investment, as Coppola expected a studio to commit to a print-and-advertising (P&A) campaign of $80–100 million and for producers to receive half of the film's revenues.[54][76] A distribution veteran told The Hollywood Reporter: "I find it hard to believe any distributor would put up cash money and stay in first position to recoup the P&A as well as their distribution fee. If [Coppola] is willing to put up the P&A or backstop the spend, I think there would be a lot more interested parties."[54]

Coppola's initial plan to forgo working with a sales agent was, thus, altered, with the company Goodfellas handling international sales; Le Pacte, for France, became the first to acquire distribution rights to a foreign market, though notably without rights to paid video on demand or streaming options.[77][78][79] During the film's Cannes press conference, Coppola criticized the studio system and likened a streaming option to a home video release, saying: "I fear that the film industry has become more a matter of people being hired to ... make sure that they pay their debt obligations ... New companies, like Amazon and Apple and Microsoft, they have plenty of money. So it might be that the studios that we knew for so long are not [going] to be here in the future anymore."[80][81] In May 2024, the film secured a limited global IMAX release, regardless of distributor, including in at least 20 US cities in late September.[82]

Reception[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 52% of 64 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 4.6/10.[83] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 59 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average" reviews.[84]

The early industry screening resulted in reactions considered divisive while some were mixed, though others were primarily of general bewilderment.[a] Many attendees praised LaBeouf's performance as one of the antagonists but left questioning the film's commercial viability.[54][91] Deadline Hollywood's Mike Fleming Jr., more receptive toward the screening, praised the film's runtime and ambition, writing that it is "crackling with ideas that fuse the past with the future, with an epic and highly visual fable that plays perfectly on an IMAX screen".[70]

The film was further described as reminiscent of the literary works of Ayn Rand, particularly The Fountainhead (1943), and the films Metropolis (1927) and Caligula (1979), and about a civilization teetering on a "precarious ledge, devouring itself in a whirl of unchecked greed, self-absorption, and political propaganda".[87][92] Fellow director Gregory Nava called it "a visionary masterpiece", complimenting the acting of Esposito and LaBeouf as "particularly sterling", adding: "It's an unbelievable, astonishing film, and [Coppola] is pushing the boundaries of cinema ... [Coppola] has used visual effects, and things that before have simply been limited to superhero movies, in a way to evoke other kinds of emotions."[93]

Coppola optimistically compared the polarizing responses to the film to the initial reactions to Apocalypse Now four decades prior.[93] Furthermore, many journalists expressed fascination and concern regarding the film's success, labeling it a potential critical and box-office failure, while others debated whether it could be Coppola's masterpiece.[b]

Bilge Ebiri of Vulture criticized studio heads and executives who anonymously yet publicly lambasted the film.[100] Likewise, The Independent's Geoffrey Macnab wrote: "Did they want to see [Coppola] fall on his face? That was the impression given by some of the more snide post-screening remarks. It was as if the Hollywood executives were looking for payback for all those past occasions when Coppola had criticised their way of doing business."[101] Coppola commented: "I really feel it's unpardonable to attack a movie because it doesn't play by Hollywood's current rules, by quoting unnamed sources who probably weren't at the screening and may not exist."[102] The film received a similarly polarized response from critics at the Cannes Film Festival.[c] Variety's Ellise Shafer and Matt Donnelly summarized: "Though reactions have been mixed, the film was undoubtedly jam-packed with scenes that ranged from visionary to just plain puzzling."[109]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Attributed to multiple sources: [85][86][87][88][89][90]
  2. ^ Attributed to multiple sources: [94][95][96][97][98][99]
  3. ^ Attributed to multiple sources: [103][104][105][106][107][108]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Megalopolis". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved May 5, 2024.
  2. ^ Piña, Christy (May 4, 2024). "Adam Driver Controls Time in First-Look Clip for Francis Ford Coppola's Megalopolis". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 4, 2024.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab "Francis Ford Coppola's Megalopolis: Productions Notes" (PDF). Cannes Film Festival. May 13, 2024. Archived (PDF) from the original on May 17, 2024. Retrieved May 18, 2024.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Wise, Damon (May 16, 2024). "Megalopolis Review: Francis Ford Coppola's Mad Modern Masterwork Reinvents the Possibilities of Cinema – Cannes Film Festival". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 17, 2024.
  5. ^ Ebiri, Bilge (May 16, 2024). "Megalopolis is a Work of Absolute Madness". Vulture. Retrieved May 17, 2024.
  6. ^ Macnab, Geoffrey (May 17, 2024). "Megalopolis, Cannes review: Francis Ford Coppola's $120m Self-Funded Epic is No Car Crash". The Independent. Retrieved May 17, 2024.
  7. ^ a b c d e Rooney, David (May 16, 2024). "Megalopolis Review: Francis Ford Coppola's Passion Project Starring Adam Driver is a Staggeringly Ambitious Big Swing, if Nothing Else". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 17, 2024.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Breznican, Anthony (April 30, 2024). "Francis Ford Coppola's Megalopolis: An Exclusive First Look at the Director's Retro-Futurist Epic". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on April 30, 2024. Retrieved April 30, 2024.
  9. ^ a b c Romberger, James H. (September 2017). The Conflict of Progressive and Conservative Tendencies in the Film Work of Steranko (M.A. thesis). CUNY Academic Works. Archived from the original on February 21, 2023. Retrieved March 29, 2024.
  10. ^ Cowie, Peter (April 20, 2001). The Apocalypse Now Book. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-306-81046-8. Retrieved March 29, 2024.
  11. ^ a b c d e Schumacher, Michael (October 19, 1999). Francis Ford Coppola: A Filmmaker's Life. Crown Publishing Group. ISBN 0-517-70445-5. Retrieved March 29, 2024.
  12. ^ Thomson, David; Gray, Lucy (September–October 1983). "Idols of the King" (PDF). Film Comment. 19 (5): 61–75. JSTOR 43452924. Retrieved March 29, 2024.
  13. ^ Chown, Jeffrey (May 20, 1988). Hollywood Auteur: Francis Coppola. Praeger. ISBN 0-275-92910-8. Retrieved March 29, 2024.
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External links[edit]