They discuss a lot of things, including Coppola’s 8 year absence from the big screen and his return to making more personal films.
Here is an exceprt where they discuss his approach to making the film:
Harry: How did you come to the material, YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH?
Coppola: I had been working for a year that period, when I was working on MEGALOPOLIS, during the so-called 10 years when I wasn’t doing anything, I was a little preoccupied on this script I wrote that I had made into an extremely ambitious project, that it was very difficult even to get feedback on it, given the fact that the sort of notes I would get would be related to the projects’ financial or pop-value.
I didn’t want that kind of narrow movie feedback, because I was trying to write a script that was even more ambitious than that. it’ll grow up after a while… I sent it to a friend that I had known in high school who was a young woman who became a great [tape blurs here] …at the University of Chicago and she read my script and gave me some notes, from a broader literary or intellectual perspective, which is what I wanted. That’s what I was trying to do and in the course of it, she sent me a lot of quotes from Mercea Eliade, who was this professor and thinker from which I learned a lot of stuff. And she had a lot of quotes relative to a couple of the themes I was playing with related to the consciousness of MEGALOPOLIS and I became curious of the story that these quotes had come from and I managed to get it. It wasn’t easy to get. When I read it, I just said “well, here I go. I’ll just retell everybody and I’ll just write this and go off on my own and use my own dough and just make a film.” …instead of being you know, stuck with this MEGALOPOLIS project which after the events of September 11th, 2001, I just didn’t know how to continue with it.
Harry: Is that what happened to it? Was when 9/11, it…
Coppola: It made it really pretty tough… a movie about the aspiration of utopia with New York as a main character and then all of a sudden you couldn’t write about New York without just dealing with what happened and the implications of what happened. The world was attacked and I didn’t know how to try to do with that. I tried.
Harry: When do you think that you could revisit that material?
Coppola: I have abandoned that as of now. I’m now going to… I plan to begin a process of making one personal movie after another and if something leads me back to look at that, which I’m sure it might, I’ll see what makes sense to me.
I saw Youth Without Youth last week and I’ll write something more substantial about it soon, but in the meantime read the full interview here.