Another member of the Coppola filmmaking dynasty has directed her first movie after capturing candid moments off-set while hosting the stars of her daughter Gia's new film Palo Alto in her home. Jacqui Getty pieced together a 30-minute 'making of' documentary in between cooking meals for and styling stars like James Franco and Emma Roberts.
Her daughter, Gia Coppola, who is movie mogul Francis Ford Coppola's granddaughter, had such a small budget for the adaptation of Franco's short stories, she asked her mother to open up her home for the cast and crew.
Getty tells The Hollywood Reporter, "We didn't have money for a casting director or housing, so I cooked the kids dinner every night."
She admits Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola is quite impressed with her filmmaking skills: "Francis was shocked at how I worked the camera."
Getty tells the publication she had a lot of help from her most famous relative's wife, Eleanor, who directed the 1991 documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse while her husband was shooting Apocalypse Now.
Once upon a time I was hanging out in Allston in Boston with my buddy Christopher Morrison, and Soul Coughing comes on. You remember them? “True Dreams of Wichita”? “Screenwriter’s Blues”? Anyhow we’re listening to them and Chris looks over at me and says “Those guys just took what they had and went all the way, didn’t they?” And that was around the time when David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest had come out, and it was sitting on – well, probably on the floor somewhere considering what Chris and Curt and Josh’s apartment was like. Chris nods toward the book and says “That guy too. Just took his thing and went all the way. That’s it, isn’t it?” “What’s it?” I ask. And he looks at me with the patented Christopher Morrison super intense realization eyes and says “Art.”
Having a clear personal vision for a particular work of art, let alone a whole career, isn’t easy. You have to be yourself relentlessly. That’s not easy. Realizing that vision’s a whole different kind of hard. That requires discipline, courage, determination, and craft. Art is that space where vision meets communication via craft. Or at least that’s how I see it. If it’s just craft and communication, that’s artisan work. If it’s just personal vision then it’s narcissistic gobbledygook. A lot of artists move from one end of that spectrum to the other throughout their career.
Up to and including One from the Heart, Francis Ford Coppola had a vision for every movie he made, even if he had to find it as he made it. Coppola’s determination turned even a sordid, pulpy book about gangsters into art. So when he came to believe that Apocalypse Now would be a total financial disaster, one that could completely ruin him, he decided to make a romantic, popular film that would give him some much needed capital. That movie is One from the Heart. Instead Coppola got caught up in his vision for the movie and made an innovative and gorgeous box office flop that would bankrupt him completely, hampering his artistic decisions for the next decade.
Coppola’s idea was to take a spin on the musical and create something totally modern. He told the story of a couple, played by Frederic Forest and Teri Garr, who break up and have dalliances with Raul Julia and Natasha Kinski, respectively. Will they get back together? Watch the movie to see. The innovative part comes when songs written and sung by Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle reveal the characters’ emotional subtext. For awhile there’s something wonderful about this approach. Waits and Gayle’s songs tell us everything the screen couple can’t say. Over the course of the movie, however, this approach has a kind of flattening effect, leveling all dramatic tension. Still, it’s Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle, so even when the songs don’t add texture they’re still pretty great.
What makes the movie a joy to watch regardless of the narrative weakness is the production design and cinematography. Coppola’s movies always look great. Great photography, great design. He takes pride in that. Maybe because One from the Heart was meant to be popular and romantic, and maybe because the dark locations of Apocalypse Now needed to be washed clean, Coppola had a replicate of Las Vegas built inside a sound stage. It’s beautiful. Somehow brighter and more confectionary than the actual Las Vegas strip, with even the recreated airport shining with dreamy neon. The set contributed to the ballooning budget that went up to 27 million from the proposed 12 million. That’s what sunk Coppola.
Far from making a blockbuster, Coppola had a hard time even finding distribution for his movie, and when it did come out, it was an absolute flop that set up a chain reaction. Coppola declared bankruptcy and lost everything he had except for one home and a vineyard up in Napa, California’s Wine Country.
Coppola himself is rumored to have said that the man who made The Godfather movies died in the jungle while shooting Apocalypse Now. If he did say that, it might be a bit of a hedge. One from the Heart isn’t a masterpiece, but it’s also clearly made by a man who had a vision and pushed it through to completion, come what may, just like he always did. It’s understandable that a man who went through what he went through would want to make a movie that didn’t have a lot of tension and looked real pretty, but that doesn’t mean he’s dead. It means he’s changing.
What is he changing into? Let’s find out.
Next week: the movie that debuted every male 80s heartthrob who isn’t named Corey.
Apocalypse Now is like the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde of feature films in that it’s equally ambitious and inspiring as terrifying and controversial. On one hand the Academy Award winning chronicle of the Vietnam War is a gargantuan Golden Age worthy production complete with the sweeping visuals epic action and scope of a David Lean or Cecil B. DeMille picture. On the other it is a deeply personal haunting introspective study of the nature (and specifically the corruption) of man the ways of the world and our place in it. The duality of the material is well represented in today’s “Full Disclosure” Blu-ray release which is as much an acknowledgment of the problematic project and its long-term legacy as a celebration of the film itself.
For fans of the movie the novel from which it is based (Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”) cinema students and historians this package is the quintessential collectors edition of Francis Ford Coppola’s massive masterpiece. The high definition transfer forged from the original negative materials is bold beautiful and bursting at the seams with vibrant color and picture quality so pristine you feel like you’re watching it in its awe-inspiring 70mm form. The sound is warmer and fuller than ever and you’ll notice that as much in the quieter character driven scenes as in the explosive money shots. More immersive than ever before Blu-ray is the best way to go deeper into the jungle than you’ve ever been.
I could go on and on about the significance and quality of the AV upgrades supervised by Coppola himself but the technical enhancements are not the reason that I consider this to be the best Blu-ray release of the year. As with most home entertainment releases the special features discs’ make or break the title and the “Full Disclosure” edition of Apocalypse Now which contains the most comprehensive collection of content related to the making of the movie and its place in film history is a winner. Let’s start with the 800 lb. gorilla in the package: Hearts of Darkness a feature length documentary co-directed by Eleanor Coppola and boasting behind-the-scenes footage so rare that Francis didn’t even know it existed.
This detailed account of the 238-day shoot is an epic in itself as it sheds light on all of the problems that plagued the production in the Philippines between March 1976 and May 1977. I’ve seen many making-of features over the years but none comes close to accomplishing what Hearts of Darkness does. You feel the sacrifices that the crew made and the pressures they faced as they filmed in hazardous conditions in a war-torn country. It’s a treasure-chest of insight into the creative and commercial aspects of filmmaking that is provocative and engrossing and will be cherished by future generations that will re-discover the film long after those involved with it are gone.
But that’s just disc three. Disc two features most of the fun stuff including candid interviews with screenwriter John Milius star Martin Sheen and Coppola (the interview with the auteur takes place at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival and is particularly nostalgic considering that Apocalypse Now took home the Palme d’Or 22 years earlier). There are a handful of deleted scenes so good my biggest complaint is that they weren’t infused into the feature for this definitive collection. An especially memorable piece is the alternate credits sequence which shows Kurtz’ compound being destroyed while dozens of camera’s capture the chaos. Real buffs will marvel over Orson Welles’ take on “Heart of Darkness” which he read over the radio in 1938 (Welles attempted to craft a cinematic adaptation back then but couldn’t get it going; he made Citizen Kane instead.)
Every element of the production is covered via featurettes on sound color music and editing making this “Full Disclosure” release the final word on the challenging film but like Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde there’s more than one side to the story that the special features tell. Whether your want to delve deeper into the history surrounding the subject matter or the cultural effect of the film there’s something for everybody in this amazing release. The cherry on top? A 48-page collectible booklet with production photos copies of documents timelines and more bringing you another step closer to the anarchy of Apocalypse Now.
Harrison Ford's wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, has filed for a legal separation from the actor after 18 years of marriage, his spokesman said on Thursday. Mathison is also seeking custody of their two children, Malcom, 14, and Georgia, 11.
Things seemed to be going along fine for Ford and Mathison until last November, when they announced in a joint statement that they were separating, but still trying to work out their problems. Ford reportedly moved out of their New York City apartment and into a hotel.
That same month however, Ford, was seen in nightclubs, and rumors linking him romantically with actress Lara Flynn Boyle surfaced after The National Enquirer published photos of the two chatting over cocktails in a Manhattan club. At the time, Ford's manager and publicist, Patricia McQueeney, strongly denied rumors of a romance, calling the reports false and inaccurate.
Ford and Mathison then reportedly spent time together during the Christmas holidays.
In March, the two appeared to have patched things up. People magazine quoted a source close to Ford as saying, "They're definitely back together. He seems happier."
Unfortunately, the happy reunion didn't last very long, though Ford's spokeswoman said in a statement Thursday that the couple remains on good terms. She also added that Ford, 59, is currently spending time with his children at the couples Los Angeles home. Ford and Mathison also own homes n New York and Wyoming.
Ford had no comment on Mathison's petition.
Ford and Mathison met on the set of Apocalypse Now in 1978. Ford starred as Colonel Lucas in the epic war drama while Mathison worked as an executive assistant. They married in 1983.
During the filming, Ford was married to his first wife Mary with whom he had two children, Benjamin and William. They divorced in 1979.
Mathison, on the other hand, was said to be having a relationship with Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola. Starting off as a baby sitter for Coppola's children, she eventually left UC Berkley to work as Coppola's assistant on The Godfather, Part II in 1974.
Coppola's aides have confirmed the rumor that Mathison was the young woman to whom Eleanor Coppola refers when she discusses her husband's extramarital interest in Notes, her journal on the making of Apocalypse Now.