The 1970s ushered in a series of filmmakers who were heavily influenced by the Italian Neorealist movement of the 1940s that ultimately inspired the French New Wave of the 1960s. Both Italian cinema and French films were made to generate awareness for innovative styles of filmmaking that fixated on essential themes over stylish flairs in movies that explored the human condition on a social level, separating itself from the mainstream cinema that was released each country’s respective film industry. The French New Wave filmmakers like Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless) and Francois Truffaut (Day for Night) were famous for making films using unorthodox methods such as non-linear film editing, shooting long-takes, actors looking directly into the lens, the use of voice-overs and an overall sense of spontaneity in shot set-ups, camera lighting and shooting schedules.
The films from these two movements inspired what’s known as the New York New Wave or New Hollywood of American cinema with directors like George Lucas (American Graffiti), Brian de Palma (Blow Out), Martin Scorsese (Mean Streets), Steven Spielberg (Duel) and the most successful of the crew throughout that particular decade, Francis Ford Coppola. Not only did he direct two of the greatest movies of American film history in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II and winning the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1972 and 1974, he was nominated twice in the Best Picture category of 1974 for The Conversation. If that wasn’t enough, in 1979, his war epic Apocalypse Now was nominated for Best Picture, without neglecting to mention his win for Best Director in 1974 for The Godfather Part II. Thirteen of the films that exist on the American Film Institute’s 10th Anniversary Top 100 List are directed by the aforementioned.
For the past twenty years, Francis Ford Coppola has been contemplating making a film of grand proportions titled Megalopolis, an epic about New York City being hit with a destructive catastrophe and an architect’s plans to rebuild the city as a dreamland. After the attacks of September 11th, 2001, the project was put on-hold. But, now, almost two decades later, the project has gained momentum. According to IMDB, Jude Law is attached to the project in a major role and Francis Ford Coppola has already begun shooting 2nd unit photography in addition to writing an existing screenplay. It would be amazing to see this project come to fruition in the near future given that Francis Ford Coppola’s films have had such a profound impact on American cinema in the 20th century and taking into consideration his recent Director’s Cuts of Apocalypse Now (1979) and The Cotton Club (1984), as well as his independent films Tetro (2009) and Twixt (2011), it would behoove one to expect that Francis Coppola will make a masterful film for the ages to come.
Francis Ford Coppola’s other directorial film credits include The Outsiders (1983), The Godfather Part III (1990), Bram Stroker’s Dracula (1992) and The Rainmaker (1997).