April 27, 2009 | by  |
Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

Youth Without Youth

A new Coppola! And not a Sophia, but a bona fide Francis Ford! Wow, the first in a decade! His last film was The Rainmaker however, it is the film made before that which always troubled me—Jack, that awful picture starring Robin Williams. So imagine my surprise to discover Youth Without Youth is Jack’s closest cousin! Wait, I am being sensationalist here, the only similarity is in their premises; Jack is about a boy who grows old too fast while Youth Without Youth is about an old man who becomes young again. I just wanted to remind everybody of the fact that the man who gave us The Godfather also made a Robin Williams film worse than Bicentennial Man.

Anyway, Youth Without Youth is the confusing story of linguist Dominic Matei (Tim Roth) who, after failing to complete his life’s work, decides to commit suicide. Before he can he is struck by lighting which should have granted his death wish, but in turn makes him young. To further complicate things, after this the Nazis want him as a specimen and send a beautiful secret agent, whom he of course falls in love with. I won’t say what happens next, but let’s just say it’s even more ridiculous than what I have just described.

Shot almost completely digitally, Youth Without Youth looks great, however Mihai Malaimare’s photography is derivative of another Coppola collaborator—Vittorio Storaro. From early shots its resemblance to The Conformist is evident in virtually all aspects of mise-en-scene. Superstar editor Walter Murch delivers another beautifully cut film that actually manages to make contrived scenes where Matei exchanges dialogue with his doppelgänger work. Performance wise Roth struggles with a lacklustre character drowning in the convoluted plot.

So don’t start playing Ride of The Valkyries, this isn’t Francis Fords surge back into battle. I’m not even sure he wants it to be. With this film and his upcoming Tetro, he hasn’t had budgets exceeding $20 million. This isn’t just because Zoetrope went bust once before, but rather because Coppola is taking smaller budgets to make the films he wants to. In recent interviews he has made this clear and it’s hardly surprising. In no way can I believe Coppola willingly made Jack, or even The Rainmaker for that matter. I’m glad he’s back making pictures that are important to him—I just hope Tetro is better.

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
With Tim Roth, Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.

Recent posts

  1. Salient seeks new contributors
  2. Web designer needed
  3. San Cisco—Gracetown
  4. Shovel Knight
  5. NZUSA rides the alimony pony
  6. [Theme not found]
  7. Pink Passion Pop
  8. Everything wrong with the Moan Zone in 400 words or less
  9. 80 Years of Penguin
  10. Up and Adam

Most popular

  1. Salient seeks new contributors 100 views
  2. The Übermensch 41 views
  3. NZUSA rides the alimony pony 25 views
  4. I Went to Graduation and All I Got Was This Lousy Degree 19 views
  5. Can the Hipster Survive in Wellington? 18 views
  6. Everything wrong with the Moan Zone in 400 words or less 15 views
  7. The Bresolin Brothers 14 views
  8. Twitterviews 12 views
  9. Holy Fuck! Vic Uni Ruled by White Males 11 views
  10. The Sedulous Recorder 10 views
grad

Editor's Pick

I Went to Graduation and All I Got Was This Lousy Degree

by

For students all across the world, years of study culminate in a perfunctory ritual known as “graduation”. After three years of napping at Victoria’s Te Aro campus, it was my turn to partake in the tradition.

Read more