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Francis Ford Coppola: Reignite Cinema

MUBI Special

Having achieved immense acclaim in the 1970s with The Godfather and its equally great sequel, The Conversation, and Apocalypse Now, Frances Ford Coppola often underwhelmed audiences with much of what followed this legendary run. His gambles with experimenting in genre, form, and even production methods resulted in a string of features unfairly maligned. But when new artistic ground is broken, it almost never appears as such at first glance.

Unlike many of his New Hollywood contemporaries, who tend towards a limited set of themes, there are little to no boundaries in Coppola’s cinema. Whether reviving the Hollywood musical on one of the most elaborate sets in cinema history with One from the Heart, visiting Harlem in the 1930s to reflect on the nature of art and racism with The Cotton Club, or reinventing his cinema on an independent palette with the sublime Tetro, Coppola has constantly evolved his filmmaking with new (and renewed) styles to further the possibilities of storytelling. Unfurled through time, and in the case of The Cotton Club, re-worked with hard-earned artistic freedom to produce a new, final cut of the film, the blemishes of these experiments have faded or been revised to reveal themselves as pure cinema by an auteur whose only unifying obsession is the evolution of an art form.

Tetro

Francis Ford Coppola United States, 2009

Freed from the many parameters of the studio system, Francis Ford Coppola returned to the independent productions of his youth with this sprightly complicated tale of family erupting with mythic archetypes and generational struggle. Shot in ravishing inky black & whites and starring Vincent Gallo!

One from the Heart

Francis Ford Coppola United States, 1982

Following Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola revived the working methods of Hollywood’s golden age with this modernist rebirth of the musical. Largely misunderstood in its time, One From the Heart stands today as a dazzling love story painted with rapturous artifice inside an imaginary Las Vegas.

The Cotton Club Encore

Francis Ford Coppola United States, 1984

We kick off our series on the visionary “movie brat” Francis Ford Coppola with this new, revitalized cut of a previously maligned film. Journey to one of the cultural zeitgeists of the 20th century, Harlem’s Cotton Club circa 1930, in this masterful portrait of the many struggles of artistry.

Life is too short for bad films

Every day we hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have a whole month to watch it, so there’s always 30 perfectly curated films to discover.