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Megalopolis: we saw the most WTF (and best?) film of Cannes 2024



The exceptional return of Francis Ford Coppola

Presented in competition at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival, Megalopolis by Francis Ford Coppola is the most awaited work. A real event: 13 years later Twixthe legendary filmmaker returns where he won two Palme d’Or, in 1974 for Secret conversation and 1979 for Apocalypse now. And his new film, shot for 120 million dollars and which Francis Ford Coppola made out of his own pocket, a great humanist science fiction fable and a family tragicomedy, is a proposal as fantastic as it is unclassifiable.

Megalopolis
Megalopolis ©Il Pacto

In New Rome, a dream metropolis of New York, Cesar Catilina (Adam Driver) conceived an imperishable material while trying to save his wife from death. Starred urbanist, creative genius, he embodies the idea of ​​a god from whom we await the creation that will save civilization from itself. But Frank Cicero (Giancarlo Esposito), mayor of New Rome with traditional ideas and clientelistic initiatives, does not want this rebirth. No more so than Clodio (Shia LaBeouf), Cesar’s jealous cousin, a hardened party animal with ideas of grandeur and completely irresponsible.

Around them, among others, a mother who doesn’t love her son (Talia Shire), an intriguing presenter, Wow Platinium (Aubrey Plaza) who is venal and uses her irresistible sexual charm. Even the mayor’s daughter, perhaps above all, Julia (Nathalie Emmanuel), engaged in a beautiful love story with Cesar. Additionally, Cesar’s multibillionaire uncle (Jon Voight) and Clodius’ grandfather, and his friend played by Dustin Hoffman, former New Rome characters.

Megalopolisnever seen

We don’t have to hide it. At the end of the press and official screenings, the whistles competed with the applause. There was mocking laughter, audible satisfaction, something happened. First of all because Francis Ford Coppola’s generosity is astonishing. New York family tragedy looming The Godfathera science fiction essay of unprecedented visual beauty – Megalopolis was shot with Prysm Stage technology -, comedy brought forward by Shia Labeouf and Jon Voight with an absurd performance, touching love story with Nathalie Emmanuel, mythological story about the destiny of humanity with its continuous references to the Roman Empire. .

Megalopolis
Megalopolis ©Il Pacto

Impossible to digest immediately, like Megalopolis it is unique and differs from all the common references of contemporary cinematic narration. Is simple, Megalopolis it could be a first work, in its freshness and its formidable excess of generosity, in its strong passion for the image and for the cinematic sensation.

At 85, Francis Ford Coppola could retire an arthouse blockbuster, bold images that any producer would have previously written off, lest their unique aesthetic be characterized as an aberration. Fusion of shots of different values, wide frames of destruction and narrow frames on outrageously made-up faces, CGI applied both for phenomenal settings and to intimately transform bodies…

Precious experience

Without forgetting, another sign of the experimental character of Megalopolis, that during the screening someone went on stage to ask a question to Adam Driver’s character, framed in zoom like a Zoom window and who answered this question. Yes, there is some great nonsense. But this generosity, this freedom, which accompanies the spectator through all the judgments and sensations, ends up fully touching the heart. Here is the cinema great cinemain his madness, in his rejection of limits and conventions, in his aesthetic ideas and in his meta reflection on the passage of time.

The night will pass and tomorrow Megalopolis it will undoubtedly be more understandable, more readable, and perhaps disappoint. We do not know. And because it pushes the viewer to upend everything, reevaluate everything, reinvent everything, the world as well as themselves, this uncertainty is so, so precious.

Source: Cine Serie

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