20 juin 2024

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Cannes Film Festival: Francis Ford Coppola’s testament “Megalopolis” in Cannes

Laurence Fishburne, Francis Ford Coppola et Giancarlo Esposito

A regular at the Cannes Film Festival where he won two Palmes d'Or, Francis Ford Coppola returns to competition with "Megalopolis" which has all the makings of a youthful debut film.

A regular at the Cannes Film Festival where he won two Palmes d’Or, Francis Ford Coppola returns to competition with “Megalopolis” which has all the makings of a youthful debut film.

At 85, Francis Ford Coppola is in competition at Cannes for the third time, not to mention his previous selections in other categories, and his presidency of the jury in 1996. The director has his napkin ring on the Croisette.

The rise of the steps will go down in history, the film not necessarily: Cannes rolled out the red carpet on Thursday for Francis Ford Coppola, who unveiled “Megalopolis”, presented as his ultimate masterpiece but which risks stunning.

“I dedicate my film to hope and to children. Let’s create a world for children,” declared the director, to applause at the end of the official screening.

“We don’t make art if we don’t take risks,” underlined the legendary filmmaker in an interview on France 2 recorded before his rise to the top, about this pharaonic project in which he invested his fortune. personal to the tune of 120 million dollars.

If the conditions of production of the film reflect an artistic panache which is as much of the passionate old mogul as of the young megalomaniac beginner, the dream stops at the viewing. “Megalopolis” could have passed for the pseudo-philosophical neopeplum of an ersatz Baz Luhrmann, the acid delirium of a definitively burned Terry Gilliam, even a sick outgrowth of “Holy Motors” (the nocturnal scenes in DS) and “Annette” (Adam Driver in majesty) by Leos Carax.

Paradoxically, his new film has the excesses of a first attempt, with its freedom of tone, with an approximate quality, full of staging effects and tinkered special effects, as if he were making a Roger Corman production ( specialist in B series, with which he started) luxury. Nourished by great thematic ambitions, Megalopolis deals with games of power and time.

A fictional megalopolis at the crossroads of New York, ancient Rome and Gotham City, Francis Ford Coppola imagines the struggle between an aging mayor, played by Giancarlo Esposito, and the president of his planning commission, played by Adam Driver.

The latter wants to rebuild the city, whose statues are collapsing, using a revolutionary material of his invention, Megalon, which is to replace concrete. And falls in love with his rival’s daughter, played by Nathalie Emmanuel (“Game of Thrones”).

Comparing today’s America to the decadent Roman Empire, the film combines elements of science fiction, new age thinking and neo-antique style. A mixture which risks losing its audience.

Missing was his wife, who unfortunately died on April 12. Eleanor was 87 years old when she took her last breath at her home in Rutherford, California. To come to Cannes, Francis Ford Coppola was accompanied by his sister, Talia Shire, his son Roman – always present in the shadows –, but also his granddaughters, Romy and Cosima, daughters of Sofia Coppola and Thomas Mars . At the end of the screening, the director explained that his film was dedicated to this “hope” of leaving a planet in good condition for today’s children.

The sheet

Genre: Drama/Science Fiction
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Actors: Adam Driver, Giancarlo Esposito, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jon Voight, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, Talia Shire
Country: United States
Duration: 2h18
Release: Coming soon
Distributor: Le Pacte

Synopsis: “Megalopolis” is a Roman epic set in an imaginary modern America in full decadence. The city of New Rome absolutely must change, which creates a major conflict between Caesar Catilina, a genius artist with the power to stop time, and the arch-conservative mayor Franklyn Cicero. The first dreams of an ideal utopian future while the second remains very attached to a regressive status quo protective of greed, privilege and private militias. The mayor’s daughter and jet-setter Julia Cicero, in love with César Catilina, is torn between the two men and will have to discover what seems best for the future of humanity.

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