In 1982, this very ambitious musical was one of the filmmaker’s most bitter failures.
Coppola never ceases to revisit his filmography. After having proposed in recent years alternative montages ofApocalypse Now (Apocalypse Now: Final Cutin 2019) or from Godfather 3 (The Godfather Epilogue: The Death of Michael Corleonein 2020), the American cinema giant has decided to offer the public a new version of Heart stroke (One from the heart in OV). This musical comedy released in the early 80s is perhaps not his most popular film, but it is one of the major titles of his work: a project of mad ambition, musical melancholy and visionary who prophesied the advent of “electronic cinema”, and whose commercial failure shattered the filmmaker’s dreams of independence, before becoming one of the symbols of the end of New Hollywood.
Demolished by American critics at the time, this melancholy daydream under the neon lights of Las Vegas, set to music by Tom Waits, ended up becoming over time one of the favorite films of Coppola fans.
One from the heart: Reprise (the name of this new cut) will be presented next week at the 80th Venice Film Festival, in the Venice Classics section, alongside restored versions of cinema classics like The Exorcist by William Friedkin or Bellissima by Luchino Visconti.
The program of the Mostra indicates that this “Reprise” of Heart stroke will last 95 minutes – twelve minutes less than the “official” version of the film. “I always loved Coup de coeur, explained Francis Ford Coppola, and while working on its 4K restoration, it occurred to me that I could improve the story. This new release will be an improvement in many ways and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved with it. One from the heart: Reprise.”
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“Reprise” is the latest linguistic coquetry that Coppola has found to name the re-editing of one of his old films, after terms like “Redux” (For Apocalypse Nowin 2001) or “Again” (or “reminder” in English, given as a subtitle to a new version of Cotton Club in 2019). The long version ofUnderdogs is called itself The Outsiders: the Complete Novel and a recent remount of Twixt (his 2011 3D film with Elle Fanning) is titled B’Twixt Now and Sunrise: the Authentic Cut.
After its presentation in Venice, this new Heart stroke should be released in cinemas and on video during 2024. It is also next year that we will undoubtedly discover Coppola’s new feature film, Megalopolis, a film already legendary since its author has been talking about it for more than forty years. What promises to be a modern peplum will feature a cast all star led by Adam Driver, and was financed with the director’s own money, always ready for risky bets, even at the age of 80.
2024 will also see the release of the sequel to Joker, Madness for twobilled as a musical, and which its cinematographer Lawrence Stern recently said was visually inspired by… Heart stroke. More than forty years after its release, Coppola’s cursed masterpiece is finally getting all the love it deserves.