Through the eye of appreciation, the film offers so much visual candy to stare at…due to the excellent and striking Cinematography by Academy Award winner Vittorio Storano (THE LAST EMPEROR, LADYHAWKE) and the Academy Award nominated music by Tom Waits. The gravel-like, bourbon-fused vocals jazz up the film’s score with the sweet accompaniment of Crystal Gayle as well. The dialog between actors comes across very improvisational, but that may have been Coppola’s wish to ‘keeping it real’ between the movement of the story and the interaction of characters.
JOHNNY CHAZZ: Being a long-time resident of
JER: I will agree with you that Coppola did a wonderful job in the homage paid to early television/ theatre in the film’s development, how it plays out and presents itself. I think that it was brilliantly executed…especially when Coppola’s approach to his script readings has always resembled the way that stage rehearsals are done. I also think you took this film heavier than it was intended to be taken as. True, this isn’t Coppola’s ‘best’ film…but it definitely was an achievement, when presented in an art-house format.
JOHNNY CHAZZ: True - perhaps I did take the film a bit more "heavily" than I should have, as it really is nowhere near Coppola's finest work. An achievement? Yes, I will grant that. You also mention that the films "freed" Coppola of the harsh conditions during "Apocalypse", but the truth is that it is the film itself that we are studying here, not what the director was going through personally. And when you refer to the screenplay as "it is what it is" - then we really do see it for what it is...plain, simple, predictable, and resoundingly unimpressive. Still, it was an experiment for both Coppola and his fellow players and its own silly little way, well - I guess it works on a couple of levels. However, that is also to say that it does not work on a couple of levels. I will also agree with you that the music serves as a third main character in the film - but isn't that the case in 5,000 other movies? There is no way that I can refer to this score as being "brilliant" as the music - albeit appropriate for the film, remains relatively simplistic and a bit too dreamy. The "mood" conveyed by the set design (exteriors ever so more than interiors), the hues, the lighting, and the homage paid to retro-Las Vegas are what keep this picture somewhat intriguing. This is a classic "fairy tale" that we dove into this week Jer - and it was fun. Thus, audiences today should take a look at what you have recommended here as there are some real plusses in the film. On the flip side, the fun appears to be short-lived and borderline forgetful.
JER: Music is and will always be a vital piece to any film…if done right. The lyrics help with the character’s settings and moods. The one thing to keep in mind is that it is a “fairy tale” or a “fable” that takes place in the city of lights and illusions. Is Vegas real? Or is it all bulbs and showgirls…merely in place for our fantasies to be made into potential reality? If so, I never wanna leave!