Vincent Gallo (Tetro) and Alden Ehrenreich (Bennie) in Tetro (photo © American Zoetrope)
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The movie has resonances in Coppola's own life: his father was principal flutist in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and then the NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscanini. Coppola Sr. later became a conductor, composer, and arranger, of his son's film scores among other things. In an interview, Coppola identifies himself with Bennie, idolizing his older brother, and the closeness of "The Family" in spite of its many deep-seated issues, referred to throughout the film, recalls the themes explored in the Godfather movies. Coppola financed this movie himself, with proceeds from his successful wine business, writing the script and serving as his own lead producer. It has all the benefits of sole creative control -- a single-minded unity of purpose and style -- and many of the pitfalls, as the film is allowed at times to wallow in self-indulgence, going far over the top in emotional terms.
Maribel Verdú (Miranda) and Vincent Gallo (Tetro) in Tetro (photo © American Zoetrope)
Francis Ford Coppola's Tetro opens today at the E Street Cinema. Another film recently reviewed, Departures, also opens today, at Landmark Bethesda Row.