The ever-entertaining Francis Ford Coppola has sat down with the Guardian on the eve of the release of his latest film, Youth Without Youth. Here's the highlight reel: Coppola is forced to backpeddle over those recent comments he made about Nicholson, Pacino and De Niro being old and fat and rich, or something like that. "I said, well they're not the same guys they were when they were young and hungry. Now they are rich. Deservedly so. Thank God, you know. Then it gets all twisted. I mean, I'm a friendly guy, right?" Love that last part. He goes on to add "Jack is a huge talent, one of the greats. These are my friends. And that kind of stuff can hurt friendships."
On his next film, Tetro, Coppola seems to have confirmed to the paper that Javier Bardem will star, although it's written ambiguously enough that the Guardian may have just been printing what they erroneously believe to be fact. Coppola says "It's about fathers, sons and brothers, a bit Tennessee Williams, a bit Rocco and His Brothers." He then launches into a defensive posture, pointing out that no matter what he does people will be expecting a new Godfather landmark film and will be disappointed if he doesn't deliver that. "They hope it's going to be another Godfather. There is always that hope even in the face of the impossibility of that actually happening."
The Godfather and its import on Coppola's career is a theme of the interview, and at times the director even seems to shrug off the impact of the film or suggest that his career would have been more pure, like Godard's, if he had not been left to contend with helming one of the most successful pictures of all time. "I got sidetracked," he says. "I would have made more personal films. Films of ideas. Like the guys who were making movies when I came of age -- Godard and the New Wave. Which is what I wanted to do in the first place." Sounds to me like Coppola needs to get out of the vineyards and get back to work and stop feeling so sorry for himself.