Legendary director Francis Ford Coppola returns to the director's chair after a ten-year hiatus with this adaptation of Romanian author Mircea Eliade's tome detailing the arduous journey of a professor whose life is thrown into chaos as World War II looms ominously on the horizon. When the 70-year-old scholar is struck by lightning, his age begins to reverse as his mind grows infinitely more brilliant. Now determined to understand the origins of language and consciousness, the fugitive professor leads authorities on a wild chase through Romania, Switzerland, Malta, and India. Tim Roth, Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, and Marcel Iures star in an ambitious low-budget drama trumpeted by Zoetrope as a "return to personal filmmaking" for the revered Godfather director.
Disc #1 -- Youth Without Youth Play Movie Languages Audio: English Audio: French / Français Commentary by Director Francis Ford Coppola Subtitles: French / Français Film Subtitles Subtitles: English Special Feature Subtitles Subtitles: English Commentary Subtitles Subtitles: Off Scene Selections Special Features Commentary With Francis Ford Coppola: On Commentary With Francis Ford Coppola: Off The Making of Youth Without Youth The Music for Youth Without Youth Youth Without Youth: The Make-Up End Credits
Youth Without Youth 3.3 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
At first glance, "Youth Without Youth" seems like a dream project. Just think of it, Coppola's first foray into directing in a decade, and not with some standardized Hollywood pap, but a high-minded and personal art piece, shot and funded independantly by the master himself. It rings of fairytale. Unfortunately, actually viewing the film is probably akin to reading the jotted-down script notes its a jumbled mishmash of ideas that never seem to have a point or central theme. Coppola's ideas could have been interesting here, but one leads to the other and, in the end, seems to say nothing. This film has it all: advancing and regressing age, degressing language, telekenesis, time travel, and the very hokey presence of the ever-power-seeking nazi's. Coppola simply mixes these, shakes vigourously, and asks us to drink regardless of how good it will taste, and believe me, it isn't that good. As the audience, we become attachted to no one. Roth is simply a conduit for Coppola's idea and is not a very interesting character at all. Roth and Ganz both, I'm sorry to say, give overall bland performances, with the only good showing coming from Alexandra Lara... which is a miracle, considering some of the laughable scenes she had to endure. The only reason this gets two stars is for some very interesting visuals from time to time, such as the superimposed clocks and overall dreamy cinematography. It pains me to say it, but Coppola needs to focus a hell of a lot more to even get me interested in seeing his next film. Let's just hope it doesn't take another ten years to do it.
More than 1 year ago
YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH is for this viewer one of the most creative and genuinely intelligent and beautiful films to be released in some time. Francis Ford Coppola has utilized the finest points of his gifts as a movie creator and the result is a mesmerizing, quasi-hallucinatory exploration of the fine book by the Romanian writer Mircea Eliade. Not only is Coppola's screenplay challenging and complex, it is also a well-developed guide to making visual the concept of Eliade's at times perplexing story. The cinematography by Mihai Malaimare Jr. is moody and captures the surrealism of the tale, and the musical score is by the great contemporary composer Osvaldo Golijov who has taken every element of Romania mysticism and culture and translated them into a miraculous musical brocade. Dominic Matei (Tim Roth in a brilliant performance) is a 70-year-old professor whose sheltered life has been spent in his thwarted exploration of the origin of language. The old man is struck by lightning and survives under the care of puzzled physicians and as he shows signs of life, Professor Stanciulescu (Bruno Ganz) is at his side, helping Matei to learn to communicate and eventually accompany him through his complete recovery. Matei grows young in appearance and is able to time travel through the decimation WW II brought to his native Bucharest, altering his identity as he is given a second chance at a life he never experienced, a life that includes a love affair with a woman who closely resembles his early love Laura and now falls in love with him as Veronica (Alexandra Maria Lara). In a Dorian Gray mode Matei lives for years as an ageless man, able to communicate with his 'double' who is visible only to Matei. His condition intrigues the interest and suspicions of both the Nazis and journalists and academic colleagues until certain tidal events change Matei's course and he regresses into old age, retuning to the moment of time when he was first struck by lightening. It is a story of the quest of eternal youth and the Faustian consequences that accompany that journey. The tone of the film is operatic and with the majority of the cast drawn from some of Romania's finest actors, the quality of performances is uniformly outstanding. Tim Roth is remarkably superb in this challenging role, a performance that deserves acclaim from a very wide audience. YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH is Coppola at his finest. Highly recommended. Grady Harp