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‘Megalopolis’ Review: Francis Ford Coppola’s Mad Modern Masterwork Reinvents The Possibilities Of Cinema – Cannes Film Festival

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“When we leap into the unknown, we prove that we are free,” says Cesar Catalina, the futuristic architect at the beating heart of Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis (to give it its full title), a mad eco-sci-fi blockbuster some 40 years in the making.

Catalina says it several times, and it’s one of the more succinct aphorisms that he spouts in a script that is stuffed with seemingly random literary allusions from the likes of Petrarch, Crassus and Marcus Aurelius to Goethe, Shakespeare, H.G.

Wells and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Watching Anthony Mann’s The Fall of the Roman Empire and eating cheese afterwards would be the only way to replicate its fever-dream grandeur, a series of stunning images, carried along by the loosest of plots, that pontificate on the self-destructive nature of humankind, the only species capable of civilizing itself to death.

True to the advance gossip, Megalopolis is something of a mess; unruly, exaggerated and drawn to pretension like a moth to a flame.

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