The godfather of Hollywood, Francis Ford Coppola arrived in Cannes for “Megalopolis” – 05/16/2024 at 7:26 p.m.

The godfather of Hollywood, Francis Ford Coppola arrived in Cannes for “Megalopolis” – 05/16/2024 at 7:26 p.m.
The godfather of Hollywood, Francis Ford Coppola arrived in Cannes for “Megalopolis” – 05/16/2024 at 7:26 p.m.

Francis Ford Coppola, center, May 16, 2024, in Cannes, in the Alpes-Maritimes (AFP / Valery HACHE)

Straw hat and white tuxedo, Francis Ford Coppola walked the red carpet on Thursday for the presentation of “Megalopolis”, the most anticipated moment of the Cannes Film Festival, which the legendary director had dreamed of for four decades.

Dean of the competition at 85, the director of “The Godfather”, “Apocalypse Now” and “Secret Conversation” is in the running for a third Palme d’Or, which would be historic.

He climbed the steps on the arm of his granddaughter Romy Mars, daughter of filmmaker Sofia Coppola, after posing on the red carpet to the music of “The Godfather”, accompanied by his actors Adam Driver, Giancarlo Esposito, Jon Voight , Shia Labeouf, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza or Talia Shire, his sister.

He received a five-minute ovation in the Palais des Festivals, before the lights went out.

The biggest secret is kept until the end of the official screening, at 9:30 p.m. on his film, extraordinary and with the testamentary flavor in which Coppola has swallowed up part of his fortune.

With a budget of 120 million dollars, this film about the destruction of a city reminiscent of New York has been brewing in his mind for more than forty years. Coppola abandoned the project following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, before resuming it.

“When does an empire die? Does it collapse in a terrible moment?” asks the voiceover in the trailer.

Francis Ford Coppola, left, with his granddaughter Romy Mars, right, on May 16, 2024, in Cannes, in the Alpes-Maritimes (AFP / CHRISTOPHE SIMON)

Presented as a 02:18 science fiction film, projected on an IMAX screen, “Megalopolis” revolves around the destruction of a megalopolis and its reconstruction which plays out between an architect (Adam Driver) and the mayor of the city (Giancarlo Esposito ).

It is a film about “a man who has a vision of the future” and talks about the “conflict” between this vision and the “traditions of the past”, confided Coppola in 2019, at the Lumière Festival where it was distinguished. “I would say it’s my most ambitious film, even more ambitious than Apocalypse Now.”

Enough to salivate moviegoers around the world who are as passionate about his films as his epic shoots, starting with that of “Apocalypse Now”, planned to last a few weeks and which ultimately lasted 238 days.

Added to this were Coppola’s bouts of paranoia, a drug addict, who lost around forty kilos and had to mortgage his property to finance the film. The budget, originally 13 million dollars, will increase to 30 million, bringing it to the brink of ruin.

– “Daredevil” –

“Coppola is a hothead,” recalls Tim Gray, a veteran of film journalism in the United States who now works for the organization of the Golden Globes. He “always took enormous risks. And his career defied logic,” he recently confided to AFP.

Francis Ford Coppola and the team of his film pose on the red carpet, May 16, 2024, in Cannes, in the Alpes-Maritimes (AFP / Antonin THUILLIER)

The cinema giant had also mentioned the wish to film a love story “before leaving”. This is done with the couple formed by Adam Driver and Nathalie Emmanuel (“Game of Thrones”) in “Megalopolis”.

“Everyone hoped that Francis Ford Coppola would continue to make films. We knew that he had decided to make this film and finance it with his own money,” Thierry Frémaux, the Cannes general delegate, said on Monday before the coup. of the Festival.

“I find it admirable that this 85-year-old man behaves like an independent filmmaker, like an artist who wants to come and show his work. Cannes is important for him and he is important for Cannes.”

Brilliant testament film or sluggish and disproportionate work? The press is making its predictions and has published testimonies from members of the production describing a chaotic shoot.

The director of the “Godfather” trilogy had not directed a feature film since “Twixt”, released in 2011, and seemed to indulge in his other passion, wine, he who owns many vines.

This was without counting this project which he dedicated to his wife Eleanor, who died on April 12, to whom he was married for sixty years.

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