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Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Old 10-16-09, 08:29 PM
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Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Interesting take from FFC...

Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- “The cinema as we know it is falling apart,” says Francis Ford Coppola.

“It’s a period of incredible change,” says the director of “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now.” “We used to think of six, seven big film companies. Every one of them is under great stress now. Probably two or three will go out of business and the others will just make certain kind of films like ‘Harry Potter’ -- basically trying to make ‘Star Wars’ over and over again, because it’s a business.”

Coppola, 70, sporting a dark suit, is being interviewed in the Lebanese capital Beirut, where his latest movie “Tetro” opened the Beirut Film Festival after premiering at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

“Cinema is losing the public’s interest,” says Coppola, “because there is so much it has to compete with to get people’s time.”

The profusion of leisure activities; the availability of movies on copied DVD and on the Internet; and news becoming entertainment are reshaping the industry, he says. Companies have combined businesses as customers turn to cheap downloads rather than visit shops or movie theaters.

“I think the cinema is going to live off into something more related to a live performance in which the filmmaker is there, like the conductor of an opera used to be,” Coppola says. “Cinema can be interactive, every night it can be a little different.”

Sitting on a red velvet sofa, surrounded by stone statues of Greek figures in the lobby of the Albergo hotel, Coppola says he did not direct for a decade until 2007 when “Youth Without Youth” was released: He spent that period working on abortive projects and readjusting to changes in the film industry.

Wines, Hotels

The director, who aside from his Californian winery has also been active in the publishing and hotel business, does not elaborate on future projects or say whether he plans to experiment in other industries.

“I don’t make a living anymore, I don’t have a job, I’m not trying to have a career, I’m not trying to be rich, I’m just trying to learn,” he says.

“Tetro”, which is based on an original screenplay, tells the story of a young man of Italian descent who sets off to Buenos Aires to reconnect with his long-lost older brother.

“I always hoped, even when I was younger, to do films that were original screenplays and more personal. My career changed a lot when I made ‘The Godfather’ because it became so successful,” Coppola says.

While the Godfather films scooped Oscars, he still has challenges in getting sponsors for some projects. He financed “Tetro” with revenue from his vineyard in California.

“Now, at this age, I’m doing what I wanted to do when I was 22,” Coppola says.

Civil War

Coppola moves on to discuss Lebanon: “Beirut is the symbol of a sophisticated cosmopolitan city damaged by civil war and political differences but it’s very regenerative.”

The filmmaker also tells of his interest in Middle-East history and the “relation between east and west.” He is intrigued about the conflict between Iran’s ruling elites after the June’s re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad which led to days of mass protests.


http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=ajbmamDBit14
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Old 10-16-09, 09:58 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Well, stop talkin' and put out some more personal films. Is he down about Tetro's performance or something? Though it wasn't as sharp and exilerating as his big Hollywood movies, Tetro was good. I wouldn't mind seeing more of these from Coppola.

Hard time getting movies made? Without a deep scoop of information about this statement, I wouldn't make judgements. I have a hard time believing the Coppola has a hard time financing 'personal' movies ... assuming that we're talking about $30mil budgets. I dunno.

And cinema can be interactive and a little different every night. It's call theater.
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Old 10-16-09, 11:24 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Nice statement.
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Old 10-17-09, 04:51 AM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

I've gotten the impression that, in the last ten years, television has become a more creative medium than film.

Film has gotten to the point where it seems like a movie can't be made without a nine-figure budget and A-list names attached. And, as such, they're aimed at the lowest common denominator.

Whereas, on television, you have things like Sopranos, Six Feet Under, True Blood, Sons of Anarchy, Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Dexter, Mad Men, etc., that utilize character actors and have production values that rival cinema. And the stories don't feel as script-doctored and meticulously pieced together by committee.
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Old 10-17-09, 07:23 AM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

For me personally, I don't watch nearly as many new movies as I used to. IMO, I think the quality movies has dropped drastically in the past 10 years. Now of course there are still good movies being produced, but I look at my DVD collection, and I amazed at how very few movies I have from this decade. I really think that movies are ALL about a business these days, when before it was a part of it, and now only indie movies are the ones that are low risk because of their low price tag.

Summer movies are now catered to teenagers when there was a good mix 15 years ago. Apollo 13 came out July 1995, Saving Private Ryan came out July 1998, when do you see a good oscar nominated movie catered to adults come out in the summer anymore? So they have essentially said to me, "Don't really go to the movies from May to August, cause you're not going to be interested in most of these movies."

It sucks, because I love movies, but I have to be honest, movies pretty much suck these days, there is few originality, and every studio has sequel-itis, simply because it is lower risk. As a business model, I can't blame them, but at some point, if idiot teenagers realize they are paying $10.00 to see crap on screen, things may change.
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Old 10-17-09, 07:41 AM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Originally Posted by JumpCutz View Post
“We used to think of six, seven big film companies. Every one of them is under great stress now. Probably two or three will go out of business and the others will just make certain kind of films like ‘Harry Potter’ -- basically trying to make ‘Star Wars’ over and over again, because it’s a business.”
No shit...just like banks, media conglomerates, auto companies, food and retail giants, etc etc...it's called late-capitalism. Everything is a commodity and competetion is being largely eliminated/usurped. It isn't just the cinema world falling apart...
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Old 10-17-09, 08:38 AM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

I recall an Academy Awards Ceremony (I'm guessing somewhere between 1978-81) where Coppola and actress Ali McGraw (LOVE STORY) were co-presenting an award and Coppola, scratching his beard the whole time, launched into an impromptu speech about how media was going to become available to everyone and everyone would be making movies and sharing them in all sorts of new technological ways, bypassing the major studios, etc. Ali looked pretty uncomfortable. And the audience was, I imagine, sitting there getting quite impatient.

Anyway, he was quite prescient. And now it's all happening. And he's complaining.
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Old 10-17-09, 09:04 AM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I've gotten the impression that, in the last ten years, television has become a more creative medium than film.

Film has gotten to the point where it seems like a movie can't be made without a nine-figure budget and A-list names attached. And, as such, they're aimed at the lowest common denominator.

Whereas, on television, you have things like Sopranos, Six Feet Under, True Blood, Sons of Anarchy, Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Dexter, Mad Men, etc., that utilize character actors and have production values that rival cinema. And the stories don't feel as script-doctored and meticulously pieced together by committee.
I remember when an Entertainment Weekly issue in 1995 made the claim in its cover article that television was better than the movies. Back then, that claim seemed ridiculous and completely wrong in 1995. But now that claim seems more like an accurate prediction of the future that has come true.
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Old 10-17-09, 09:31 AM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Old people always think the world is falling apart, because they are gonna die soon.

It's always 'young whippersnappers' who are fucking everything up.

Excellent films are still being made every year, no thanks to Coppola for a loooong time now. Excellent films are always in the minority, and there always seems to be more good films made in the past because the crap is forgotten.
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Old 10-17-09, 09:35 AM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Why are lines between cinema and television increasingly becoming blurred?

Paramount - Viacom (CBS, MTV, etc)
20th Century Fox - NewsCorp (Fox channels)
Warner Bros. - (WB, CW)
Universal - GE (NBC channels)
Disney - (ABC, ESPN, etc)
Columbia - Sony
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Old 10-17-09, 09:37 AM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I've gotten the impression that, in the last ten years, television has become a more creative medium than film.

Film has gotten to the point where it seems like a movie can't be made without a nine-figure budget and A-list names attached. And, as such, they're aimed at the lowest common denominator.

Whereas, on television, you have things like Sopranos, Six Feet Under, True Blood, Sons of Anarchy, Battlestar Galactica, Lost, Dexter, Mad Men, etc., that utilize character actors and have production values that rival cinema. And the stories don't feel as script-doctored and meticulously pieced together by committee.
What's more interesting is that all of the shows that are taking TV to new levels (and the ones on your list) are not on networks. I agree with your statement, but I have a feeling if any of the shows on your list were on a network they might not have lasted that long.
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Old 10-17-09, 09:44 AM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Originally Posted by Dr. DVD View Post
What's more interesting is that all of the shows that are taking TV to new levels (and the ones on your list) are not on networks. I agree with your statement, but I have a feeling if any of the shows on your list were on a network they might not have lasted that long.
On today's network television 'Seinfeld' and 'Cheers' would have been canceled in the first year.
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Old 10-17-09, 10:53 AM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

So Coppola is unable to adapt to a changing business model and entertainment medium. Newsflash where?

Actually, I'm trying to figure out to what he was referring to. If he is referring to "cinema" as in movie theaters as a presentation medium, he is correct. There are several pieces to this dilemna. The rise of multiplexes created the over-availability of cheap, poorly produced product (referring to the theaters themselves, but then leading to the movies). Instead of running one screen 24 hours a day for a major premier (ala Jaws or Star Wars) to meet demand, exhibitors began adding more screens to meet demand. This was a good idea until it hit the tipping point. This over-proliferation of screens meant that exhibitors were spending money on quantity over quailty. It was more profitable to invest in 5 mediocre auditoriums than one large auditorium with cutting edge presentation. And then 12 screens ... and then 20 screens ... which kicks the legs out from underneath most films since the desiring public will generally have seen the movie within 2 weeks of release. That leads to the exhibitor needing more product faster ... and so movies began to stray from quality in favor of quantity.

But now we enter the digital age. The demand for fast, cheap product (movies) combined with the availability of cheap technology has started to tip the scale back. I believe that there is another generation of filmmakers coming up that is just as great than Coppola's Zoetrope generation. The battle that they fight is no longer in getting the movies made, but in getting them distributed. The proliferation of independent film festivals currently serve as a marketplace, but that is shifting. Granted, I'm not talking about the general public, but look at the number of cinephiles who go to film festivals to (hopefully) see quality product that is not a McMovie.

Back to the exhibitors who provided a stagnant product for the better part of the last century ... since the introduction of color to movies, there has been very little progress up until the last 20 years or so. Computer generated animation, digital sound, digital projection, 3-D ... Coppola was right "The cinema as we know it is falling apart." However, we are on the cusp of a very exciting re-building period (ironically, one could argue that this rebuilding was sparked by Coppola's buddy George Lucas).
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Old 10-17-09, 12:46 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse View Post
Old people always think the world is falling apart, because they are gonna die soon.

It's always 'young whippersnappers' who are fucking everything up.

Excellent films are still being made every year, no thanks to Coppola for a loooong time now. Excellent films are always in the minority, and there always seems to be more good films made in the past because the crap is forgotten.
I agree. And if the shift of creativity and great production values and script writing is going to TV these days, I applaud the transition. I'd take a full series like Lost or any other of the TV shows mentioned in this thread already over many of the big budget Hollywood movies made by a committee instead.

Just enjoy this great age of TV, though. Network committees are already screwing around with the shows more and more. They are already doing it with Flash Forward and V looks like it's doomed to be screwed around with right out the gate. It's a matter of time before the cable channels follow suit. Then maybe by then movies will be allowed to be director driven. I think what goes around will come back around, eventually.
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Old 10-17-09, 07:08 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse View Post
Old people always think the world is falling apart, because they are gonna die soon.

It's always 'young whippersnappers' who are fucking everything up.

Excellent films are still being made every year, no thanks to Coppola for a loooong time now. Excellent films are always in the minority, and there always seems to be more good films made in the past because the crap is forgotten.
That is a valid point of view only if you view history as static. In reality, things tend to come and go: civilizations, eras, industries, etc... In other words, Hollywood has been vital for many generations and it very well may be in decline right now... that is, if you are interested in movies not made for kids and teens. If you look at the release calendar, these demos are being served year round, whereas in the past that was only a summer thing.

IMO, Hollywood is turning into Bollywood, except every movie has an obligitory cgi action scene every 20 minutes instead of a musical number.
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Old 10-17-09, 07:16 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Originally Posted by Abob Teff View Post
Actually, I'm trying to figure out to what he was referring to. If he is referring to "cinema" as in movie theaters as a presentation medium, he is correct.
No, he's referring to the culture of "cinema", i.e. personal, artisic films and the audience and institutional structure that has traditionally supported them.
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Old 10-17-09, 09:39 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

If only more films like Jack could be made in this day and age. Cinema would be saved!
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Old 10-18-09, 11:21 AM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ View Post
If only more films like Jack could be made in this day and age. Cinema would be saved!
I think he filmed Jack just to prove his point!

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Old 10-18-09, 12:06 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Cinema is NOT dead or dying. To say so is preposterous. Why would all of us be on this forum if we didn't love cinema? And while many people don't like "indie, artistic" movies a lot of people still do. There is still an audience. And as long as there are people willing to support directors/artists and their visions the cinema will continue to strive on through any harsh realities currently faced to produce both good and bad films. So much that Hollywood produces is crap, but so much is great... and the same can be said about film, music, literature, etc. It's always been this way. Don't forget that.
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Old 10-18-09, 12:43 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

While it has been said in other forums, a great read on this kind of subject is the book "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls." It more or less claims that the artists were given their shot in the 70s and did well with auter driven movies. Movies like Jaws and Star Wars are not seen as the culprits as the artists would try to have you believe, as much as contributors. The major instigator in bringing about the "dumbing" of films so to say was that several directors noted for their artistic integrity were given full control and made some really pretentious crap (Heaven's Gate played a big part). After several artistic failures in a time where audiences were gobbling up escapism, the businessmen took back control of movies.
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Old 10-18-09, 01:10 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Originally Posted by dhmac View Post
I remember when an Entertainment Weekly issue in 1995 made the claim in its cover article that television was better than the movies. Back then, that claim seemed ridiculous and completely wrong in 1995. But now that claim seems more like an accurate prediction of the future that has come true.
Sure does. Thank you FOXNEWS!
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Old 10-18-09, 01:48 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Coppola marginalized himself years ago, arguably since the failure of One From The Heart. He left his creative edge behind him and only now appears to be rediscovering it. You'd think that for a man who is as interested in experimenting as Coppola is, the availability of cheap media would be seen as a boon.
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Old 10-18-09, 02:17 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

It cycles. Competition does that.
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Old 10-18-09, 02:22 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

Originally Posted by wm lopez View Post
Sure does. Thank you FOXNEWS!
Now I understand! Don't worry, I won't tell anyone your secret.

Haha. I kind of forgot about Jack.
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Old 10-18-09, 03:48 PM
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Re: Coppola Sees Cinema World Falling Apart

This is very similar to what a lot of aging directors say, i swear by the end it's always the same "cinema is not like it used to be" waxing EVERY TIME. It's like they think only their era was great and all the poor ****s after them can just go rot away to end their misery, now that's pretty selfish. Like Mabuse said their senility means everyone else has no clue.

Also he's really only talking about Hollywood going into the shitter, if i'm not mistaken the rest of the world is doing pretty okay. But "cinema is DYING" does make him sound more important and dramatic.
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