The name of Francis Ford Coppola is always sufficient to make me want to see the movie. Having directed back in the 70s what are considered to be some of the best films in the history of cinema, Coppola seems to make esoteric choices in the last few years, exploring cinema and geographical territories (Argentina, Romania) a little aside from the main Hollywood track, enrolling international casts (and of course, almost no actor would lose an opportunity to work with him).  Tetro seems to be his best film in the last decade, an American family saga set in South America, a drama that touches the artistic milieu and brings up hidden and murky family ties.




On the way Coppola does not miss the opportunity to make music, ballet, opera in film. All the characters in the family are in the shade of an oppressive and egocentric father, obsessed with his career of world famous conductor (Klaus Maria Brandauer of whom I never have enough). The elder son (excellent acting from Vincent Gallo) is a playwright and lights director who has his own reasons to stop his artistic career, the younger character (Alden Ehrenreich reminding young Leonardo Di Caprio) starts as a steward apprentice to end as a stage director. Maribel Verdu as the elder brother’s girlfriend completes a triangle of fine acting.


(video source TetroFilm)


All the action turns around family ties and secrets, around art as a goal in life and as an excuse for bad behavior. I am often complaining about the length of the American films (and not only American) and I will do it again, and again not because of the number of minutes by itself, but because the ten extra-minutes at the end turn the strong family drama into melodrama, and this seemed to me unnecessary.


(video source TetroFilm)


Here is Coppola speaking about the cinematography signed by the young Romanian cinematographer Mihai Malaimare jr. The black and white colors used for most of the film with the colored flashbacks give a stylish and expressive touch to the viewing experience. Much of the charm and pleasure viewers have from watching this film derives from the camera work.