Coppola literally breaks the fourth wall at the screening of Megalopolis

A flesh-and-blood performance confuses the audience. Will the same happening be repeated in all cinemas?

Film show ? Theatrical show? Disney attraction? So what is Megalopolisthe latest feature film from Francis Ford Coppola ?

It's a lifelong project. A disproportionate work full of hubris. The crazy bet of a titan who makes his bow in the seventh art at the age of 85 and his two Palmes d'Or (Secret Conversation And Apocalypse Now). To realize Megalopolis, Francis Ford Coppola invested part of his personal fortune to the tune of $120 million. And Thursday evening, it was screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. If criticism is divided between those who see it as the fall of the Coppola empire and those who, on the contrary, defend its originality, all witnessed a moment as confusing as it was exceptional and which made waves on social networks .

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Some were already booing and others were sighing when around halfway through the film, to everyone's surprise, a man came forward, climbed on stage, stood to the left of the screen in front of a microphone and asked a question to the character played by Adam Driver. The latter responded as if the two were in the same room and the huge canvas where the film was projected did not exist. We then heard applause. Francis Ford Coppola once again broke conventions and literally the fourth wall!

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Why settle for a simple look at the camera to give spectators the feeling of belonging to the work? Why not instead involve the public in this collective and ephemeral performance? Just like in Megalopolisthe director of Godfather And Dracula does not hesitate to mix genres and borders on experimentation. Therefore, its representation must be experimental – hence this happening.

So cinema session, theater or attraction? There are no longer any boundaries between arts and forms of entertainment. Normally, seeing actors in the flesh interact with a character on screen only happens Disneyland. Although the attraction was closed in 2017, CinemaMagicfor example, required the intervention of a “spectator” present in the public under the name of George and who found himself trapped in the big screen where he discovered a charming actress named Marguerite and followed her through numerous scenes, a tribute to cinema. Films like Once Upon a Time in the West, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, Some Like It Hot, Big Blue, Titanic, The Silence of the Lambs and many others.

Coincidence or not, a few years before CinéMagique, there had been in this same amusement park Captain Eo – a 3D attraction which showed a short science fiction film starring Michael Jackson and directed by… Francis Ford Coppola!

Others see this gesture as inspiration from another work of science fiction. Remember, in Jurassic Park (1993), John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) shows a film to the researchers to explain the concept of the park. The video features him himself and his character interacts with the real Hammond present near the screen.

Universal Pictures International France

Obviously, after this surprising screening in competition, the question arises: will the cinemas hire an actor to appear at each screening? Anywhere in the world? Or was it simply to impress and create a buzz in Cannes? What about broadcasts on VOD, DVD and blu(-ray? And on television?

Cannes 2024 – We saw Megalopolis, the monstrous film by Francis Ford Coppola [critique]

In New Rome, an imaginary and futuristic conception of New York, an idealist architect, César Catalina, rouses the crowds to oppose an ultra conservative mayor, Franklyn Cicero, with the ultimate goal of building a better world and proposing an alternative to our society in distress. Megalopolis is a contemporary peplum with Aubrey Plaza, Nathalie Emmanuel, Dustin Hoffman, Shia LaBeouf And Giancarlo Esposito which Coppola dedicated to his recently deceased wife Eleanor.

Megalopolis will be distributed in France by Le Pacte but no release date is yet known.


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