Film Club - One From The Heart

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Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Jeemo » 01 Oct 2008, 23:53

A few days earlier than intended but I have the time now and might not on Friday. So apologies if this puts anyone out.

This is a bit daunting for me as I am not the most eloquent writer or best speller than ever trod the earth so bear with me if I ramble or mispell a few wurds here and there.

I love this movie and although it could be accused of many faults, I will forgive most of them.

I first became aware of this when Barry Norman showed a small clip on one of his Film tv shows. It was the Little Boy Blue part with Natassia Kinski, it was a short clip but it stood out because of the style and effects. A few months later it was on at the GFT Glasgow Film Theatre the nearest arthouse cinema to me. I went and saw it and loved it straight away.

At school I had studied Death of a Salesman and was always intrigued by the dissolving scenery from one set up to the next. One from the Heart was the first time I had seen a film do this, I have no idea if it was done before but suspect it was done long before it was done here.

The film is basically simple. A couple think that the grass is greener on the other side and split on the 4th of July after 5 years together, they are mirrored on the soundtrack by Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle who sing all through the film. They both meet new people, Frederic Forrest (Hank) meets Natassia Kinski, Terri Garr (Franny) meets Rual Julia both of the new partners are "glamourous" but prove to be no better than reality they are running away from.

Special mention must go to Harry Dean Stanton who plays Hank's partner Moe who has the worst line in patter ever. "I Moe, Me Moe, You Moe" and the worst perm since Donald Sutherland in Dont Look Now.

But the real love for this is due to the fact that it was all filmed in a studio and created parts of Las Vegas indoors. The scene where Franny leaves Hank and walks down the rain soden street carrying her suitcases is one of my favourite scences ever.

The music is also perfect for the film, Waits delivered a masterful set of songs that I dont think he has come close to ever again.

Of course it tanked at the box office and ended Coppola's Zeotrope studio for ever and resulted in him doing a fair amount of hack work to clear the debt that it caused but I love every neon shining moment of it.

I hope this is ok. Its a bit daunting being first in the reboot of the film club, so be gentle at least with my clumsy writing.
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Billybob Dylan
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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Billybob Dylan » 02 Oct 2008, 00:10

I love this film, too. I first saw it on telly, and what attracted me to it was that the Radio Times mentioned the soundtrack was by Tom Waits. Back in the late '80s and early '90s it seemed as if this OFTH was on BBC2 about every 6 weeks!

It never came out on home video here. Well, it did, but it was $99 and a special order. Fuck that. I bought the special edition when it was released on DVD a couple of years ago, but I was burgled, and they took all my DVDs, so I haven't seen it since then.

The soundtrack is fab in its own right, and in the the context of the movie, it's perfect. I was blown away by the look of the film. It wasn't until after I first saw it that I discovered it was shot entirely on a set - including McCarran airport!
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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Sneelock » 02 Oct 2008, 00:26

I like it and I like it a lot. "love" is a bit strong. I like the idea of two schlumpy people having their dream lovers and choosing to re-schlump. I also like these two schlumpy people living in this bright and artificial movie non-reality. but, when it's all said and done, it's still a movie about two schlumpy people and they don't really seem at home to me in this hyper-movie reality.

I like the leads. I like that he sings her the dumb song. I guess it strikes a false note for me. it seems like they should end up with the flashy people in this flashy movie. maybe it's a large part of the film's charm that they don't. still, I must admit, there's a rub.
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I had the pleasure of seeing the first showing of this at the Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. judging by all the whooping and hollering most of the then thriving Zoetrope staff was there and it made seeing the film that much more special. I gave it an "A" when the "cinemascore" people button-holed me. I figured "what the hell?" I do like it very much. there is razzle dazzle to burn. the movie incorporates music and production design in such creative and breathtaking ways.

still, there's part of me that says why did the plane have to be an artificial plane in an artificial airport? it's amazing that they put so much effort into what really should have been a very simple thing. I guess this is part of why movie-heads my age like guys like Copolla. HE decided it was the thing to do and he did it. I don't get it but I respect it.

I'd give it three out of a possible four pina coladas.

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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Jeff K » 02 Oct 2008, 01:18

Nice write-up, Jeemo.

Unfortunately, the copy I just received from netflix is damaged and won't play. I'll try to procure a copy elsewhere. I must confess I didn't care for it the first time I saw it many years ago. I was willing to give it another chance with more of an open-mind since I expected more from Coppola at the time. I don't think he really recovered from this film which was mostly perceived as a failure, both box office-wise and artistically.
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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Oct 2008, 01:53

Jeff K wrote:Nice write-up, Jeemo.

Unfortunately, the copy I just received from netflix is damaged and won't play. I'll try to procure a copy elsewhere. I must confess I didn't care for it the first time I saw it many years ago. I was willing to give it another chance with more of an open-mind since I expected more from Coppola at the time. I don't think he really recovered from this film which was mostly perceived as a failure, both box office-wise and artistically.


It was right after this that he started making movies with brat pack actors. The director of the Godfathers and Apocalypse Now was working with Matt Dillon & C. Thomas Howell.

Funny thing is I like The Outsiders and Rumble Fish now but at the time I'm sure many were bemoaning how the mighty had fallen.

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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Sneelock » 02 Oct 2008, 02:07

well, I liked them both, especially 'rumble fish' even though 'outsiders' is probably the stronger film. I LOVED S.E. Hinton when I was a tender young juvenille delinquint and it was hard for me to rid of the movie between my ears. actually, I like the big wide-screen fifties style and all but I guess there's only so much you can do with "stay gold, ponyboy" pretty goopy overall but that seems to be what he wanted to do with it.

'rumble fish' gets major points for energy. I love Stuart Copeland's score and all the nuts and bolts of it. Moddie will tell me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that this is a movie you can teach cinema with. long shot here, close-up there. it just seems like he's trying to cram it all in. I love it but then I never read the book.

even though I love it, I'm aware how stupid it is. there's a scene with Mickey Rourke and Matt Dillon in a doorway that makes me puke with laughter every time I watch it.
Mickey: Hey!
Matt: what?
Mickey: HEY!!
Matt: WHAT????
etc...
Last edited by Sneelock on 02 Oct 2008, 02:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Jeff K » 02 Oct 2008, 02:08

Wilson Schmilson wrote:Funny thing is I like The Outsiders and Rumble Fish now but at the time I'm sure many were bemoaning how the mighty had fallen.


I was doing my share of bemoaning. Between the Hinton teenie novels and the over-stylistic One From the Heart, I thought it was pretty obvious that Coppola was slumming and his inspiration had dried up. That's one of the reasons why I really want to watch OFTH again to see if my opinion still holds up. At the time, I wasn't crazy about Apocalypse Now but I've warmed up to it a little. I still think it's overrated though.
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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Sneelock » 02 Oct 2008, 02:09

but, he made "gardens of stone" not long after. no great shakes but it was focused and pretty solid.

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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Oct 2008, 02:14

I liked the S.E. Hinton novels as a teen too. I'm not so sure about the films though. Both The Outsiders and Rumblefish are good but when I see them (not too often in the last twenty years admitedly) I think they could be better. The cast of both films is ideal, the scripts are fine (though the dialogue, as snee points out is weak), it's the direction that makes them less than ideal.

There's enough material for two great films there but I don't think Coppola was really the director to bring them to fruition. Having said that they're still fun.

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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Jeff K » 02 Oct 2008, 02:17

Wilson Schmilson wrote:There's enough material for two great films there but I don't think Coppola was really the director to bring them to fruition. Having said that they're still fun.


Did you really want Coppola making teen drama's though? I sure didn't.
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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Oct 2008, 02:21

Jeff K wrote:
Wilson Schmilson wrote:There's enough material for two great films there but I don't think Coppola was really the director to bring them to fruition. Having said that they're still fun.


Did you really want Coppola making teen drama's though? I sure didn't.


Yeah, that's just what I'm saying.
Of course, at the time I was a teenager so it didn't bother me all that much. But one can definitely see the line of demarcation right after Apocalypse Now. I mean--he did nothing but brilliant films before that and nothing but failed missfires after.

He's not made a great movie since the '70s and I can't think of anyone else who was on that level who has been so disapointing for so long. George Lucas maybe? Nah, not even close.

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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Jeff K » 02 Oct 2008, 02:26

Wilson Schmilson wrote:He's not made a great movie since the '70s and I can't think of anyone else who was on that level who has been so disapointing for so long. George Lucas maybe? Nah, not even close.


Woody Allen comes close.
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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Oct 2008, 02:31

Jeff K wrote:
Wilson Schmilson wrote:He's not made a great movie since the '70s and I can't think of anyone else who was on that level who has been so disapointing for so long. George Lucas maybe? Nah, not even close.


Woody Allen comes close.


Oh, I couldn't disagree more. Allen was great throughout the '80s and first half of the '90s.
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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Jeff K » 02 Oct 2008, 02:35

I got off of the bus after Zelig.

Better get the subject back on track. Sorry for derailing the thread.
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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby James R » 02 Oct 2008, 10:57

I've not seen the film, but it's been interesting reading this even so, cos for some reason I thought it was Cotton Club that really made Coppola tank. Clearly, though, if the figures on Wikipedia are right, I've been terribly wrong all along; Cotton Club made about $26m of an estimated $50m cost, but OFTH only made $637,000 of an estimated $25m cost.

The shocking thing, though, is that OFTH was originally budgeted to cost two million, not 25. How the hell could that happen? A blowout from two to maybe six million, yeah, but more than twelve times the original budget? Did Coppola really learn so little from the Apocalypse Now experience?
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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Jeemo » 02 Oct 2008, 11:36

James R wrote:I've not seen the film, but it's been interesting reading this even so, cos for some reason I thought it was Cotton Club that really made Coppola tank. Clearly, though, if the figures on Wikipedia are right, I've been terribly wrong all along; Cotton Club made about $26m of an estimated $50m cost, but OFTH only made $637,000 of an estimated $25m cost.

The shocking thing, though, is that OFTH was originally budgeted to cost two million, not 25. How the hell could that happen? A blowout from two to maybe six million, yeah, but more than twelve times the original budget? Did Coppola really learn so little from the Apocalypse Now experience?


As far as I recall it was mostly his own money on OFTH wheras the Cotton Club was a studio picture and the studio took the hit.
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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 02 Oct 2008, 12:50

Wilson Schmilson wrote:Yeah, that's just what I'm saying.
Of course, at the time I was a teenager so it didn't bother me all that much. But one can definitely see the line of demarcation right after Apocalypse Now. I mean--he did nothing but brilliant films before that and nothing but failed missfires after.

He's not made a great movie since the '70s and I can't think of anyone else who was on that level who has been so disapointing for so long. George Lucas maybe? Nah, not even close.


I'll be watching One From the Heart on Friday, so I'll have to withhold specific comment on it until then. Right now I only have my impressions of it from 26 years ago. It will be interesting to see it as an adult.

As for Matt's statement on FFC, I think he'd being a bit harsh. Here's Coppola's filmography since Apocalypse Now:

One from the Heart (1982)
The Outsiders (1983)
Rumble Fish (1983)
The Cotton Club (1984)
Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
Gardens of Stone (1987)
Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988)
New York Stories (1989)(segment "Life without Zoe")
The Godfather: Part III (1990)
Dracula (1992)
Jack (1996)
The Rainmaker (1997)

It's actually a pretty interesting filmography...one that many directors would be proud of. I see only two unqualified disasters in there (Jack and Life with Zoe) while Peggy Sue Got Married also remains beneath his talent. But by the same token, Tucker is seriously undervalued and The Cotton Club, Gardens of Stone and Dracula are also much better than their reputations. Lastly The Godfather Part III may suffer by comparison to the first two films, but it's a very strong film in it's own right.

Certainly Coppola's status an autuer died somewhere around the late 70's /early 80's, but I'd hardly call his work since a disaster.
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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Oct 2008, 15:55

I didn't say they were disasters, Davey--but none of them are on the same level as any of his '70s pictures. The Godfather III is my favorite one and I like it more than most but you're kidding yourself if you think it doesn't suffer badly in comparison to the first two.

For his resume to go from 'classic' to 'interesting' is a comedown perhaps unmatched by any topnotch director until Tarantino, and Tarantino didn't fly as high for as long as Coppola did either.

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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 02 Oct 2008, 16:30

Wilson Schmilson wrote:I didn't say they were disasters, Davey--but none of them are on the same level as any of his '70s pictures. The Godfather III is my favorite one and I like it more than most but you're kidding yourself if you think it doesn't suffer badly in comparison to the first two.

For his resume to go from 'classic' to 'interesting' is a comedown perhaps unmatched by any topnotch director until Tarantino, and Tarantino didn't fly as high for as long as Coppola did either.


I don't think we are disagreeing. I simply thought your dismissal of his post-70's career was a bit too pat. Obviously he had a comedown. But he made 4 films (in a row) that could all feasibly be on anybody's 50 best films ever list. You were talking about Hitchcock's tryptich Vertigo, Psycho and North by Northwest the other day (and rightly so - and you can add The Bords if you want to make it a foursome) but I think The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, and Apocalypse Now constitutes possibly an even greater run. So he never matched it again. So what? The Beach Boys never made another album as great as Pet Sounds again either.
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Re: Film Club - One From The Heart

Postby Matt Wilson » 02 Oct 2008, 16:40

Colin Poofington-Davies wrote:
Wilson Schmilson wrote:I didn't say they were disasters, Davey--but none of them are on the same level as any of his '70s pictures. The Godfather III is my favorite one and I like it more than most but you're kidding yourself if you think it doesn't suffer badly in comparison to the first two.

For his resume to go from 'classic' to 'interesting' is a comedown perhaps unmatched by any topnotch director until Tarantino, and Tarantino didn't fly as high for as long as Coppola did either.


I don't think we are disagreeing. I simply thought your dismissal of his post-70's career was a bit too pat. Obviously he had a comedown. But he made 4 films (in a row) that could all feasibly be on anybody's 50 best films ever list. You were talking about Hitchcock's tryptich Vertigo, Psycho and North by Northwest the other day (and rightly so - and you can add The Bords if you want to make it a foursome) but I think The Godfather, The Conversation, The Godfather Part II, and Apocalypse Now constitutes possibly an even greater run. So he never matched it again. So what? The Beach Boys never made another album as great as Pet Sounds again either.


By praising those four films you're making my point for me.
I can't think of a director who sailed that high fall so far and never recover. Altman, for instance, had a great run from '70-'75 with mostly all great movies, then he hit a bad patch which lasted years until The Player and Short Cuts brought him back to proper form. Does that mean all his '76-'90 films sucked? Of course not--but none of them could be mentioned in the same breath as his classic work either, at least not in my opinion.

Maybe Bogdonovich or Friedkin can be compared to Coppola as I don't feel they ever matched their '70s work either but they were past it even by the end of the decade plus they each only managed two classics not the four in a row you speak so highly of. Let's not forget Coppola did the screenplay for Patton as well before he made The Godfather and even produced American Grafitti in '73. It was as if everything he touched in the '70s turned to gold.