"In order to recover a bit from a recent feeling of exhaustion, I spent a significant amount of this past weekend diligently sitting on my ass, in front of the television. On Saturday night, I popped in my copy of Woody Allen’s 'Manhattan,' which, among other things, is as stunningly designed a movie as I’ve ever seen. This is largely thanks to the work of Gordon Willis, a master cinematographer who, apart from his incredible work on this film, was also responsible for photographing an alarmingly high share of my favorite movies of all time: 'The Godfather,' 'The Godfather Part II,' 'All the President’s Men,' and 'The Parallax View,' among others." [more inside]
"Something happened that nobody can make a movie between $500,000 and $80 million. That can’t be possible.”
In 2003, 455 films were released. 275 of those were independent, 180 were studio films. Last year 677 films were released. So you’re not imagining things, there are a lot of movies that open every weekend. 549 of those were independent, 128 were studio films. So, a 100% increase in independent films, and a 28% drop in studio films, and yet, ten years ago: Studio market share 69%, last year 76%. You’ve got fewer studio movies now taking up a bigger piece of the pie and you’ve got twice as many independent films scrambling for a smaller piece of the pie.
Because the film is a period piece, The Godfather actually presents a fascinating record of what 1940s-era New York City locations still existed in the early-1970s. Sadly, many of them are now gone. What still remains? Let’s take a closer look.
Looking for a unique wine? There are a few celebrities out there trying their hand out at being vintners. Sam Neill in New Zealand, "Brangelina" in France, Drew Barrymore in Italy, and Dan Aykroyd in Canada (just to name a few). There are plenty here in the states, too. Sonoma County certainly has its share with everyone from John Lasseter to the Smothers Brothers. And then there is the Hollywood wine granddaddy of them all.
Though it became an epic flop and forced Francis Ford Coppola to declare bankruptcy, the 1982 musical One From the Heart (previously) did produce one hell of a soundtrack featuring the unlikely collaboration between Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle. Here's the story of how it all came together. [more inside]
Over the course of 45 years in the film business, Francis Ford Coppola has refined a singular code of ethics that govern his filmmaking. There are three rules: 1) Write and direct original screenplays, 2) make them with the most modern technology available, and 3) self-finance them. [more inside]
Will the future of cinema be live or remixed? "There is a level of panic in Hollywood I haven’t seen for a while." So begins USC Professor Jon Taplin, also a producer of films by Martin Scorsese. Taplin speaks about Francis Ford Coppola's recent interview where the director states that "I think the cinema is going to live off into something more related to a live performance in which the filmmaker is there, like the conductor of an opera used to be." Taplin bemoans "the dearth of imagination in Hollywood", while the comments section lights up with various prognostications.
In 30 years of going to Cannes, Roger Ebert has witnessed Francis Ford Coppola suffering from post-Apocolypse insanity and learned Jerry Lewis's secret for preventing riots--but the most interesting character he ever met there was a loudmouthed, fast-talking Texan named Silver Dollar Baxter with an uncanny gift for bluffing...
On The Road... coming to a theater near you (scroll down in link). Francis Ford Coppola is working on a film adaptation of Kerouac's classic (?), starring Brad Pitt. Genius? Heresy? I can see the Barnes & Noble tie-ins now...