|FRANCIS FORD COPPOLATHE COTTON CLUBCOTTON CLUBNEW YORKNCISNFL|
He worked on 'The Godfather: Part III' and 'Bram Stoker's Dracula,' earned a Tony nomination and led Opera Tampa until leaving at age 95.
Anton Coppola, a conductor for orchestras and operas and the uncle of filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire, has died. He was 102.
He died March 9 in in his longtime Central Park West apartment, his daughter, Lucia, told The New York Times.
Coppola worked with his nephew as a conductor on 1990's The Godfather: Part III leading "Cavalleria Rusticana" and 1992's Bram Stoker's Dracula.
He appeared on a 2015 episode of Mozart in the Jungle, the Amazon series created by his great nephews Roman Coppola a son of Francis and Jason Schwartzman a son of Francis' sister, Talia. He was also a great-uncle to actor Nicolas Cage and writer-director Sofia Coppola.
On Broadway starting in 1947, Coppola worked as musical director on such productions as Carmen, Madame Butterfly, Aida, La Boheme and The Barber of Seville. He received a Tony Award nomination in 1963 for best conductor and musical director for Bravo Giovanni.
He conducted for the New York Philharmonic and the New York City Opera and worked on a 1954 national tour of The Boy Friend, in which Julie Andrews made her American debut.
Coppola joined Opera Tampa in 1996 and served in an artistic director position until he retired in April 2012 at age 95.
"I think one of the things that keeps conductors going is that we have to exercise our mental powers all the time," he told the St. Petersburg Times in 2004. "Doing that, I think, contributes to your physical well-being. I mean, I'm constantly using my mind to absorb these scores that I conduct.
And in 2016 interview with The New York Times, he said: "I'm not tired yet. When people ask me how did I live this long, I say, 'Pasta e fagioli.'"
Born in New York, Coppola was raised as one of seven brothers in East Harlem. One of his brothers, Carmine, also wrote music for Francis' films.
After serving in the U.S. Army as a bandmaster during World War II, he worked as a conductor at Radio City Music Hall and was the director of the symphony and opera departments at the Manhattan School of Music for 15 years.
Coppola married a ballet dancer, Almerinda Drago, in the late 1940s, and they had two children, Bruno and Lucia. He had lived in his Central Park West apartment since 1956.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
In the early 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola was one of the biggest names in filmmaking. After box office and awards success with two “Godfather” films, he had also gone to hell and back making “Apocalypse Now,” betting his vineyard and personal fortune on the biggest arthouse war movie ever made, and somehow ended up winning big. He would never make another film, “Cotton Club” included, without having final cut.
And yet the story of making the original “Cotton Club” was one of the director under tremendous pressure and losing sight of his movie by making edits that compromised his original vision.
“It was a long production of a lot of warfare going on on the set, you’ve gone through a cut, a director is pretty exhausted by the time the movie is coming out,” said Coppola when he was guest on IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast. “And very well aware that if everyone is saying, ‘The picture is too long, the picture is too long,’ you say, ‘Well, gee, maybe I should try to make it be less long.'”
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The battle between Coppola and his non-traditional film financiers on “The Cotton Club” was constant, his final cut ignored and lawsuits to take the film away were threatened. The message he received about the film being too long were clear, and the cuts to be made were obvious: “There’s too many black people and there’s too much tap dancing.”
Coppola laughs now at the absurdity of the idea that the problem with a film set in the famous Harlem night club — featuring the best black performers of the 1920s and 30s — could have too much of either. His screenplay was a balanced story, centered around two parallel stories of one white Richard Gere and one black Gregory Hines performer. It was only years later, when Coppola watched an early cut of “The Cotton Club” — he archived different edits of his films on Betamax — that he realized how fundamentally he lost that balance.
courtesy of Lionsgate
“I saw it and I was surprised, because I hadn’t realized we had cut so much out,” said Coppola. “What you do is you take a couple minutes out, you look at it again, you take another minute. You don’t realize in the aggregate you’re taking a lot out.”
Twenty years later, the longer version played better for Coppola, the story was clearer, richer, and it actually felt shorter. “Time is very relative,” he said. “If you’re not engaged, if you’re not absorbed in the story, or the ideas, or you’re confused by it, or you don’t know...
NBC medical drama “New Amsterdam” has decided to postpone airing an upcoming episode that would've focused on a fictional deadly flu pandemic in New York City.
Deadline reported that the series, created by David Schulner, had already shot an episode titled “Pandemic,” later renamed “Our Doors Are Always Open”. Schulner supported the network's decision and provided a short essay to Deadline about the episode's postponement, where he stressed that the “world needs a lot less fiction right now, and a lot more facts.”
“During a bad year, influenza can kill up to 80,000 Americans,” Schulner said in his letter. “We wanted to get this message out. And the best way to do that was to scare you so bad you'd be washing your hands during the commercial breaks. We showed what happens when our hospital has to erect tents in the parking lot because every bed is taken. When the doctors and nurses and medical techs have been working back to back shifts because their replacements are sick. When panic sets in. When people are quarantined. When people die. Sometimes, what the mirror reflects back is too horrifying to look at.”
Schulner also noted that members of the series' cast and crew had become sick, including Daniel Dae Kim, who Schulner said tested positive for the coronavirus several days after production was shuttered. All four of the show's infected individuals are recovering, according to Schulner. He added that while many consumers have become more interested in pandemic-related films such as “Contagion” — whose medical consultant tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week — the episode's New York location mirrored the state's real-world coronavirus crisis too closely for comfort.
New York City has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, with more than 17,000 cases and 200 deaths since March 1. Business Insider reported that 2,500 new cases were reported on Tuesday, with another 2,300 reported Wednesday morning. The city accounts for nearly a third of the nation's coronavirus cases.
“Our Doors Are Always Open” will air at a later date, though a specific date has not been determined. “New Amsterdam” has already been renewed for three additional seasons.
“New Amsterdam” is one of numerous television shows that has been impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. IndieWire is keeping track of all of the entertainment industry's productions and events that have been impacted by the outbreak.
Schulner's full essay is available on Deadline.
Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki, whose often disturbing and challenging avant-garde music has turned up in films from “The Shining” to “The Exorcist” and “Children of Men,” and as recently as the TV series “Twin Peaks: The Return,” died at his home in Krakow on Sunday, March 29. He was 86 years old.
Penderecki’s greatest influence on any modern composer can perhaps be found in the work of Johnny Greenwood, the lead guitarist and keyboardist of Radiohead and musician behind the soundtracks for films including Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood,” “Phantom Thread” and “The Master,” as well as Lynne Ramsay’s “We Need to Talk About Kevin” and “You Were Never Really Here.”
“What sad news to wake to. Penderecki was the greatest — a fiercely creative composer, and a gentle, warm-hearted man. My condolences to his family, and to Poland on this huge loss to the musical world,” Greenwood tweeted on Sunday morning.
Penderecki began composing in the 1960s, going on to produce eight symphonies, four operas, a requiem, and many concertos and choral works, many of which are regarded as notoriously difficult to play. His compositions were often politically motivated, including probably his most famous work, “Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima,” which appeared in the films “The People Under the Stairs” and “Children of Men.”
The chilling composition below was also used by David Lynch in the landmark Episode 8 of Showtime’s “Twin Peaks: The Return,” set against images of an atomic bomb that appears to birth evil itself into the world. In “Children of Men,” “Threnody” sets off the film’s masterful long-take sequence as Clive Owen rushes to safety through a harrowing warren of chaos. In this piece, 52 string instruments collaborate to create a nerve-shredding soundscape.
Penderecki’s work also appeared in “The Shining,” with terrifying pieces employed by director Stanley Kubrick in lieu of an original soundtrack though composer Wendy Carlos did turn in a score, it went mostly unused in favor of preexisting music. Penderecki’s works also appear in David Lynch’s “Inland Empire” and “Wild at Heart,” Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island,” William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist,” and Peter Weir’s “Fearless.” His work even appears in the 1996 disaster movie “Twister” and the Netflix series “Black Mirror.” He also contributed original scores to films as well, including most recently in the 2015 Polish horror film “Demon.”
Head over to The New York Times for a full obituary...