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Watch: Francis Ford Coppola Sharpens ‘Distant Vision’ In Rehearsal for Next Film

Written by on July 25, 2016 

francis ford coppola distant vision

Few forthcoming films entice quite like Francis Ford Coppola‘s new project — though the man himself doesn’t have a prescribed medium in which to place it. The work, Distant Vision, parallels three generations of an Italian-American family with the rise of television, and will (at least initially) be presented as a work of “live cinema” — perhaps in theaters, on TV, or via the Internet — albeit one more cinematically engaging than, say, some live musical aired on network television. This inevitably presents many challenges — they key one, he’s said, being “all the technical logistics of how to produce and shoot a live performance that still has the visual appearance of a movie.”

Coppola’s also said it could take about five years before the film is even seen, and yet that super-long wait now seems less likely in light of this much: he’s already staged and broadcast a version of which we may now have a small taste. Taking things to his alma mater, the writer-director recently enlisted more than 100 of UCLA’s students and faculty (and more than 40 cameras) for an endeavor that he described like so: “This is not film, this is not theater, and this is not television. So what is it? It’s another thing. It’s a kind of, maybe, hybrid.” [THR]

By his account, what’s done here is an experiment, and what’s being shown to the public in seconds-long increments is obviously cherry-picked, but Distant Vision‘s nascent form nevertheless looks rather intriguing, if only for its variety of shots and types of images (a big divergence from most filmed plays), and, in at least one case, a whole blue-screen effect that, true to Coppola, boasts an admirable fakeness. (Given the project’s period setting, it’s little surprise that blue screens can be seen at multiple other points.) And it looks big! There are many sets and costumes and actors milling about, and the possibilities have yet to even fully reveal themselves. Perhaps we’re now witness to a big step forward in Coppola’s grand experiment.

The video is, sadly, not available for embedding, but you can watch it here.

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