FRANCE : Hollywood titan Francis Ford Coppola returned to the Cannes Film Festival recent Thursday to unveil his enormously hyped, wildly experimental and deeply divisive MEGALOPOLIS.

The 85-year-old director's arrival at the world famous movie festival - where decades earlier he twice scooped the top prize Palme d'Or - has been the frenzied talk on cafe terraces in the swanky Cote d' Azur city.

Would the epic $120-million project that he self-funded, and that has been gestating for some 40 years, be another masterpiece emerging from chaos, like Apocalypse Now all those decades ago?

Or would the film that Coppola sold part of  California wine estate to create be a chaotic mess?

One early press screening attended by AFP was greeted with both jeering boos and enthusiastic applause. In early reviews,  DEADLINE hailed '' a true modern masterwork of the kind that outrages with its sheer audacity,'' but The Guardian called the film ''bloated, boring and bafflingly shallow.''

The Hollywood reporter said the film was '' a staggeringly ambitious big swing, if nothing else,'' while The Times of London ripped into ''nails-along-the-black-board performances, word-salad dialogue and ugly visuals''.

The philosophical and unconventional movie will certainly leave many casual visual viewers deeply confused.

'' MEGALOPOLIS '' takes place in New Rome, a parallel and decayed version of modern-day of New York filled with bacchanalian parties, crumbling ancient statues, and a Madison Square Garden that hosts chariot races and Greco-Roman wrestling bouts -

Adam Driver stars as Caesar Catalina, a cape-twirling Nobel-Prize winning architect hell-bent on using his seemingly magical powers to rebuild the collapsing urban sprawl into a utopian and futuristic Garden of Eden.

Standing in his way is Frank Cicero, played by Giancarlo Esposito [ Breaking Bad ], an old fashioned mayor who bitterly envies his visionary rival. The ensemble cast features Aubrey as a social-climbing journalist, Jon Voight as a mega billionaire patriarch and Shia LaBeouf as a bratty scion with a penchant for populist politics.

 The World Students Society thanks AFP.


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