Ever since he got back to making movies, Francis Ford Coppola's artistic sensibilities have definitely taken a turn for the more philosophically surreal - as evidenced by Youth Without Youth, Tetro, and his latest project, Twixt.
Coppola showed off footage from his supernatural horror flick at the 2011 Comic-Con last week. Twixt will premiere at the upcoming 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, which has gone ahead and released an extended trailer for the film.
Twixt tells the tale of Hall Baltimore (Val Kilmer), a burn-out supernatural horror writer whose career is on the decline. While traveling through a small California town as part of the tour for his latest book, Hall is approached by local lawman Bobby LaGrange (Bruce Dern) about the possibility of collaborating on a new novel, based on the mysterious local murder of a young girl. Later, in his dreams, Hall is visited by the ghostly V (Elle Fanning), whose own story may or may not be connected to the real-life murder - and could have sinister implications for Hall's future.
The film was both directed and scripted by Coppola, based on his own short story - itself, inspired by the Gothic literature of Edgar Allen Poe, one of the figures who appears to Hall in his increasingly foreboding dreams.
Check out the Twixt trailer (via TIFF) below:
Only certain portions of Twixt were shot in the 3D format - and, like in his most recent productions, Coppola shot the film in the digital format. Hence why the black-and-white dream sequences are so reminiscent of Sin City, while the real-life footage has that distinctly bright and filtered look that movies shot on (now, increasingly old-fashioned) film stock simply lack. As our own Mike Eisenberg noted (while attending the Twixt panel at Comic-Con), the visuals seem to vary from "stunning" to kind of "cheesy" and "awkwardly digital" at times.
As a whole, Twixt kind of comes off as a weird B-movie, complete with almost dream-like dialogue (which Coppola has already admitted was intentional), surreal subject matter, and an odd yet subtly creepy Noirish atmosphere. More than anything, it looks like the slightly more normal cousin of David Lynch's Twin Peaks.
While Twixt ultimately may not be as effective a Lynchian horror tale as, say, Blue Velvet or Mulholland Dr., it does appear to be one of the more unique films on the horizon. In an age where reboots, remakes, and re-imaginings reign triumphant, it's hard to be too critical of Coppola for attempting to create something more unusual and personal - regardless of how well it actually turns out.
Twixt has yet to secure an official U.S. release date. We'll let you know when it does.
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