Comic-Con 2011: Highlights from the Twixt Presentation

Coppola gets experimentental with 3-D & distribution

When Francis Ford Coppola took the stage at Comic Con 2011 in San Diego, you could tell the respect that was given to the legendary filmmaker as nearly everyone in attendance rose to welcome him with a standing ovation.

Coppola didn’t waste a lot of time getting to why each member of the audience had an interesting pair of 3-D glasses/program for Twixt. “When Apocalypse Now first come out it had no credits … it was on a program that was given out,” Coppola said. “In that tradition, I wanted to make a little program you could see and take home.”

Coppola immediately turns his attention to talking about one of the hottest topics in Hollywood – 3-D. Coppola said that he has been a fan of 3-D since he was a kid and gives almost an oral history on 3-D throughout Hollywood.

Yet, there is one thing that Coppola struggles with the format. “I do not like 3-D with glasses and even during Avatar I took off my glasses periodically because they didn’t feel right,” he said. “I am of the approach that you can have some good sequences with 3-D but not the whole movie. You don’t have to wear glasses that are uncomfortable the entire time.”

And this is what he is doing with Twixt. And we get to see the first footage of the film.

We see a small town with a quaint number of interesting characteristics. But the town holds a secret. There were murders committed long ago and there’s a mysterious character snatching up the youth of the town in his own cult-like manner. Val Kilmer plays a novelist on his way through the town for a book signing and gets weaved into a greater mystery with the allure of a new novel about the town’s history and current weird stuff happening involving a woman getting a stake through the heart. There are dream sequences, there are black and white scenes mixed with vivid colors and style, there are numerous funny scenes and the 3-D aspect that is only part of the footage we see is very well done.

The best way I’d surmise Twixt is Twin Peaks meets the The Lost Boys meets film noir stuffed with a creamy Edgar Allen Poe filling.

This might be the most polished footage that I’ve seen at Comic Con so far. Everything looks gorgeous and while it is no doubt going to be a weird movie, it looks like it could be a lot of fun as well. Plus, it might be the film that revives Kilmer’s career back from the doldrums of straight-to-DVD hell. Interesting too that Twixt has no distributor and there is no release information at all.

Coppola also has an interesting idea about how to bring the film to theaters. “There isn’t anything in cinema that is fresh and live anymore … it is canned,” Coppola said. “The only time you get fresh entertainment is from sports or concerts.”

So for Twixt, Coppola would like to go on tour for the premiere in all the different cities and perform the film and music live for the audience. It would be a unique performance for each city, if one audience wants more comedy we give them more comedy. If one audience likes the action more, we will give them more action.

And Coppola proceeds to show us how much the digital technology changes things by pulling up all the scenes and showing how he mixes and mashes them together and works with live music. It also has a shuffle button to be totally random.

The second time viewing the footage we get some new material … more with Kilmer’s character writing his new novel and coming up with strange voices, more of the dream sequence where Kilmer meets Elle Fanning’s V character and it is definitely Twin Peaks-ish in the whole dialogue and filming.

Finally, Coppola comments on how Twixt came to be. It all began with a dream of his own involving Edgar Allan Poe. “I wanted to figure out how to do a gothic story and still make it personal for me,” Coppola said. “I wanted it to have some of my blood in it. And when I had a dream that was like [Poe] showing me the way.”

For more, check out this exclusive interview where we catch up with Coppola after his presentation.

Source: Peter Brown


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