One From The Heart

Francis Ford Coppola

francis ford coppolaProminent amongst the so-called “Movie Brats,” a term coined by writers Michael Pye and Lynda Myles in their eponymous 1979 book, Coppola, alongside George Lucas, Brian DePalma, John Milius (who wrote Apocalypse Now at Coppola’s behest to be directed by Lucas), Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, were credited with bringing large audiences back to cinemas with their bold stories, unorthodox production methods and sheer chutzpah in dealing with Hollywood’s old guard (studio brass hated Lucas’ American Graffiti so much at its first industry screening that Coppola promptly wrote them a check for the rights).

Like many of the brats, Coppola started under producer Roger Corman at American-International Pictures, but soon graduated to studio work as the screenwriter of Patton(for which he won an Oscar). Then came the golden run of the Godfather films, punctuated by the paranoid thriller The Conversation.

 The Film

After the excess and effort of Apocalypse Now, One from the Heart was originally envisioned as a more intimate endeavour, a tender look at a subject Coppola had never addressed: romantic love. But yet again his ambition and drive took over and he decided to make an old-fashioned studio picture using cutting-edge technology and sleight-of-hand visual trickery. The budget skyrocketed and he fought with a number of studios to get the picture made and released exactly the way he wanted it to be.

Now….Raise your hand if you’re under 30 and have seen a 35mm print in the last five years.

We all do this together the day of this show, there will probably be a lot more hands up than at that cineplex across the plaza. And given the nature of our series, expand it past 30 years old and the house will look like the encore of a rock concert.

The inclusion of One from the Heart is a reminder that Cinema Reborn is not just about rejuvenated Digital copies of older films, but a chance to revisit more contemporary, rarely-screened work in the format we all love and fondly remember—warts and all. Critics were deeply divided about the film in 1982 (as is the Cinema Reborn brain trust today), but one thing’s for certain: during a raucous period in an ever-changing Hollywood, nobody went big and bold and on his own, hard-fought path like Francis Ford

One from the Heart was shot almost entirely on sets built to look like a stylized Las Vegas in the American Zoetrope warehouse studios in San Francisco.

Teri Garr and Apocalypse Now’s Frederic Forrest play a pair of lovers who decide to break up on the American Fourth of July holiday. She hooks up with lothario Raul Julia and he with circus performer Nastassja Kinski, but in the end love conquers all. Pungent support is provided by Lainie Kazan and Harry Dean Stanton, and the score is by Tom Waits and Crystal Gale.

The Copy

As noted, One from the Heart has never been digitised and no DCP has been made. Though it has been released over a decade ago on DVD, the film remains hard to see. Our copy comes to us from Francis Ford Coppola’s personal archive, by way of a rare screening in Paris at the Cinémathèque française as part of a season devoted to the work of Director of Photography Vittorio Storaro. Storaro’s photography is stunning here.


One From The Heart

Dir: Francis Coppola, Prod: Gray Frederickson, Fred Roos, Sc: Armyan Bernstein, Francis Coppola, Ph: Vittorio Storaro, Ronald V Garcia, Ed: Rudi Fehr, Anne Goursaud, Randy Roberts,  Music Tom Waits. Des: Dean Tavoularis, Cast; Frederic Forrest, Teri Garr, Raul Julia, Nastassja Kinski, Lainie Kazan, Harry Dean Stanton.

Filmography (Feature Films as Director only)

Dementia 13 (1963), You’re a Big Boy Now (1966), Finian’s Rainbow (1968), The Rain People (1969), The Godfather (1972), The Conversation (1974), The Godfather Part II (1974), Apocalypse Now (1979), One from the Heart (1981), The Outsiders (1983), Rumble Fish (1983), The Cotton Club (1984), Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Gardens of Stone (1987), Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), The Godfather Part III (1990), Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), Jack (1996), The Rainmaker (1997), Youth Without Youth (2007), Tetro (2009), Twixt (2011)

Notes by Eddie Cockrell