Francis Ford Coppola Bets on Live Cinema


Francis Ford Coppola, the good old Coppola, director of such classics as the The Godfather trilogy (1972; 74; 1990), The Conversation (1974), Apocalypse Now (1979), among others, has always been a visionary and polemical director – way ahead of his time. Very talented, he bet all he had on “impossible” projects, sometimes too much ambitious (so much so that in the 1980s they made him go bankrupt together with his famous studio American Zoetrope, only to see it resurrect years later), but always trying to keep intact his authorship vision, according to his association with two other important directors in the 1970s – William Friedkin (The Exorcist; The French Connection) and Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show).

With all this history behind him, it’s no coincidence the filmmaker is back to his visionary director’s chair with a project that bets in “the cinema of the future”, like he himself states: the Live Cinema – at first a form of screening a film live, with the actors playing their parts for audiences around the globe. Tested last June 2015 with students from a school in Oklahoma, with the results followed simultaneously in closed screenings in Paris, Los Angeles and New York, the project tells the story of an Italian-American family – like his Godfather films.

“Today films are digital files, they don’t need to be edited, they can be screened in different ways every day, or even be screened live. But it’s not like Live TV, limited by time”, explained Coppola, during a passage by the Marrakesh Film Festival, in Morroco, when he was the president of the jury. “Imagine the actors following a storyboard from a Pixar film, for example, and acting out in front of a camera. It was what we did in Oklahoma. I got about 30 pages of a script I’ve been developing, the actors and a stage. I’ve learned a great deal with this live broadcasting. It’s not theatre, it’s not TV, nor cinema, but something different.

Watch the whole test below: