Working on a new project yesterday, I listened to about half of the Francis Ford Coppola commentary for his Dracula movie. Wow. Anyone who was shocked by the idea that he might talk smack about Robert De Niro and Al Pacino obviously hasn't heard this cosily unrestrained monologue. In a tone that suggests a guy casually standing next to you in a museum he tells us about Anthony Hopkins' impatience with the project, how he feels some of the special effects don't work at all, and, most impressive of all, how he feels Winona Ryder has never tapped the depths of her talent (I'd get the exact quotes if I had time). He described trying to prep her for the scene in the cinematograph exhibition where Dracula has her pinned to the ground, and apparently Ryder said something like, "Oh, I've already done this scene. For Tim Burton." Coppola gave a rueful laugh and talked about how talented young actors tend to get cocksure, but he wouldn't be surprised if we saw a really good performance from Ryder one day. Yeouch.
I was very pleased Coppola pointed out all his blatant homages to Jean Cocteau, particularly Dracula turning the tears into diamonds, upon which Coppola commented, "Now this is right out of Beauty and the Beast." He also spent a lot of time talking about Polish composers, and how Wojciech Kilar wasn't his first choice--there was another Polish composer he wanted, who turned him down because of time restraints; this composer spent days on even tiny parts of his compositions. I've got to find out this guy's name. Coppola also mentioned Stanley Kubrick's use of Gyorgy Ligeti. Considering how much I like Kilar's work on Dracula and the Ligeti tracks on the Eyes Wide Shut soundtrack, I'm thinking I really need to check out the Polish composer scene.