Francis Ford Coppola goes back to his roots as director


"I had an impressive career as a younger person," says Francis Ford Coppola, "but it was like an older director's." Perhaps that's why people have been wondering if he'd gone into early retirement. The director of such indelible movies as The Godfather and Apocalypse Now hasn't put out a film in 10 years and has been, by his own admission, in a creative slump for 25. So now he's changing tactics: since he couldn't scramble out of the ditch going forward, he's trying reverse. For his next film, the aptly titled Youth Without Youth, Coppola, 68, returned to a stage of his career he feels ended prematurely: the beginning. "At 29 I was making an older man's picture [Finian's Rainbow]," he says. "The younger director never had his moment. Now I'm making a younger man's picture."

Youth Without Youth might also be described as a wistful man's picture. An adaptation by Coppola of a novella by the Romanian-born philosopher Mircea Eliade, the unashamedly arty film stars Tim Roth as Dominic Matei, an aging linguistics professor whose youth is restored after he survives a lightning strike. Because of his rejuvenation, Matei is able to work on his unfinished magnum opus and pursue a lost love. With a dense, multilayered plot spanning multiple continents, decades and languages, and heady themes like consciousness and the nature of time, Youth seems a lot more than a decade removed from Coppola's last film, the decidedly commercial Matt Damon courtroom drama The Rainmaker.

(Source: Time)

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