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Francis Ford Coppola retired instead of making "factory movies"

10.07.2015

It's tough when you lose one of the great ones, such as Francis Ford Coppola.

It's even tougher when he's not dead yet, but he's made the conscious choice to retire and leave behind what he's good at. We lost him that way.

Now, if he just wanted some R&R or just didn't have the drive anymore, that'd be one thing. But when the reasons such a legendary filmmaker has walked away from filmmaking come down to bullshit and a new inability to make the movies they'd like to make, that's just sad.

While promoting the upcoming Blu-ray release of his DRACULA, Coppola remarked on why he'd rather experiement with films for his own enjoyment these days than even try working within the studio system on a project.

That’s why I ended my career: I decided I didn’t want to make what you could call “factory movies” anymore. I would rather just experiment with the form, and see what I could do, and [make things] that came out of my own. And little by little, the commercial film industry went into the superhero business, and everything was on such a scale. The budgets were so big, because they wanted to make the big series of films where they could make two or three parts. I felt I was no longer interested enough to put in the extraordinary effort a film takes [nowadays].

Now I know what you're going to say... Smaller movies get made all the time. Surely Coppola could still go off and make something much more moderately-budgeted and on a smaller scale if he really wished.

Well, yes and no.

If Coppola really had something he wanted to throw his weight behind, it'd be tough for someone to turn down the opportunity to work with the man responsible for PATTON and THE GODFATHER Trilogy and APOCALYPSE NOW and THE OUTSIDERS and I can do this all day. The greater issue is that movies are no longer made with the mindset that the public will find the good ones and support them. Studios want surefire winners on their release calendars, and they are willing to bet big on them in order to reap huge benefits. They will throw $200 million at a movie if they think it can hit the new $1 billion global box office milestone, whereas $40 million at a movie that may or may not graze $100 million....? That's just not enough return on investment for them. Then you factor in casting decisions being made based on social media presence and overseas box office performance and... you can understand why Coppola is not long for the way Hollywood has shifted.

He's also not knocking superhero movies, before that gets taken out of context. But what he is saying is that it isn't good creatively or commercially when that's all some seem to be interested in making and consuming, especially when it leaves the competition trying to match it rather than carving their own paths by filling the voids.

Tis a damn shame.

Francis Ford Coppola's BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA is now available on Blu-ray.

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Source: Yahoo!

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12:26PM on 10/08/2015
I've sd for years that Marvel has single handedly destroyed the movie industry and this just adds confirmation. Marvel wanted to churn out stupid, pointless superhero movies every 3 weeks for the last 5 yrs, it has left no opportunity for any other film to succeed. Great... all the 8 yr olds are happy, but everyone else has nothing to watch.
I've sd for years that Marvel has single handedly destroyed the movie industry and this just adds confirmation. Marvel wanted to churn out stupid, pointless superhero movies every 3 weeks for the last 5 yrs, it has left no opportunity for any other film to succeed. Great... all the 8 yr olds are happy, but everyone else has nothing to watch.
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10:11AM on 10/08/2015

One of my all time favorite filmmakers

I get why he's out, even if I can't agree with his point of view - I understand his reasons but it still makes me sad. Especially his rationale on superhero/big budget films. I think his kind of direction is exactly what is being underserved in Superhero films right now and would give my right arm to see a Dark Knight Returns adaption filmed by Francis Ford Coppola.

I do hope he finds a project he can get excited about, fund it and continue to delight us with his films for many more years
I get why he's out, even if I can't agree with his point of view - I understand his reasons but it still makes me sad. Especially his rationale on superhero/big budget films. I think his kind of direction is exactly what is being underserved in Superhero films right now and would give my right arm to see a Dark Knight Returns adaption filmed by Francis Ford Coppola.

I do hope he finds a project he can get excited about, fund it and continue to delight us with his films for many more years to come.
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10:04AM on 10/08/2015
Room
Sicario
Etc...

If dude wanted to make movies, he would be. Pretty sure not alot of "ssuper hero" movies come out from september to february!
Room
Sicario
Etc...

If dude wanted to make movies, he would be. Pretty sure not alot of "ssuper hero" movies come out from september to february!
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11:32AM on 10/08/2015
I think the man has had trouble adjusting to the [link] world. While Tetro got some good marks, I heard next to nothing about Youth Without Youth and the less said about Twixt the better.
I think the man has had trouble adjusting to the [link] world. While Tetro got some good marks, I heard next to nothing about Youth Without Youth and the less said about Twixt the better.
2:30AM on 10/08/2015

'The Godfather Trilogy 1901-1980'

While I don't really agree with his reasoning, I do understand. Yes, he's not made for the way studios make movies nowadays, that's because he's a writer as well so he's more so the artist. I just think he's not really wanting to adapt to the paper cutter, mtv music video style movies that come out today. Scorsese adapted, because he does more violent movies. Coppola wants to make more artsy movies. It's really sad a legendary filmmaker like this has to give in and not try anymore.
This is
While I don't really agree with his reasoning, I do understand. Yes, he's not made for the way studios make movies nowadays, that's because he's a writer as well so he's more so the artist. I just think he's not really wanting to adapt to the paper cutter, mtv music video style movies that come out today. Scorsese adapted, because he does more violent movies. Coppola wants to make more artsy movies. It's really sad a legendary filmmaker like this has to give in and not try anymore.
This is going to sound really mean and I really don't wish him anything bad but I hope he gets to a point where he needs money again. Seems about the only time he does anything to do with 'The Godfather' is when he's going broke. A DVD/Blu-ray version of 'The Godfather Trilogy 1901-1980' still needs to see the light of day. I have the VHS version, this needs to be done for DVD/Blu-ray. Everyone is selling out, why shouldn't he?
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5:48PM on 10/07/2015
He has produced and/or financed movies for other directors (including his daughter), so why can't he do that for his own movies anymore?
He has produced and/or financed movies for other directors (including his daughter), so why can't he do that for his own movies anymore?
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5:16PM on 10/07/2015
When was the last time Coppola made a "factory movie"? The Rainmaker? Or was Tetro still too mainstream for him? What I guess I'm getting at is, why should I care? The guy ruled Hollywood in the 1970s, along with Friedkin and Altman, but he's been the grumpy old man complaining about the state of moviemaking for well over a decade now. I don't disagree with his point, but I do think you have devoted a lot more words to this story than a guy who is still very much alive deserves. He hasn't been
When was the last time Coppola made a "factory movie"? The Rainmaker? Or was Tetro still too mainstream for him? What I guess I'm getting at is, why should I care? The guy ruled Hollywood in the 1970s, along with Friedkin and Altman, but he's been the grumpy old man complaining about the state of moviemaking for well over a decade now. I don't disagree with his point, but I do think you have devoted a lot more words to this story than a guy who is still very much alive deserves. He hasn't been making studio movies, and he doesn't claim those movies are encroaching on his profits. Anyway, I wish him well. But he is not the guy to go to bat for about the sorry state of movies.
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5:15PM on 10/07/2015
Coppola is known as a great filmmaker because of the films he made much earlier in his career, not the latest ones. It's sad but even great ones can get to a point where they have nothing else to give.
Coppola is known as a great filmmaker because of the films he made much earlier in his career, not the latest ones. It's sad but even great ones can get to a point where they have nothing else to give.
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5:11PM on 10/07/2015
Best to bow out now before he makes another godawful movie like Twixt.
Best to bow out now before he makes another godawful movie like Twixt.
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4:22PM on 10/07/2015
Not a poignant statement from Coppola. We hear this shit all the time, but it's not about making "smaller" films. Filmmakers should have the balls to make the films they want, even in a sphere where those uncompromising artistic qualities may not be as welcome. DRACULA is actually an example of what I'm speaking about...it's a known property with certain expectations, but he made it with his own formal expression. As for wanting to make his own films his own way, Malick and others pull this off
Not a poignant statement from Coppola. We hear this shit all the time, but it's not about making "smaller" films. Filmmakers should have the balls to make the films they want, even in a sphere where those uncompromising artistic qualities may not be as welcome. DRACULA is actually an example of what I'm speaking about...it's a known property with certain expectations, but he made it with his own formal expression. As for wanting to make his own films his own way, Malick and others pull this off by going to the young investors like Ellison and Lin who throw their money to older auteurs instead of interesting new up and coming filmmakers. I also don't really buy it when he claims he wants to experiment with the form. He hasn't done much of that in his more recent films, although there was some of that in TETRO.
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