Twixt is a supernatural mystery movie about a low-rent schlock writer named Hall Baltimore (played by Val Kilmer) who joins forces with the local sheriff (played by the always welcome Bruce Dern) to investigate a series of killings that may be connected to vampires.
It doesn't really look like something we would expect from Coppola. He exudes style in even his weakest efforts and his last film, the surprisingly good Tetro, was bathed in the stuff. There are times within the Twixt trailer that look very... conventional. Professional, but conventional. Of course, there are a few visual flourishes throughout, but something about it looks odd for the film-maker.
Twixt boasts a fairly impressive little cast, too. Joining the aforementioned Kilmer and Dern double-act is rising star Elle Fanning (Super 8), Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line), Alden Ehrenreich (Tetro) and narration provided by the gravelly tones of Tom Waits.
If this information were all we had to go on, Twixt would be another baffling side-step from one of America's greatest living directors. Don't get me wrong, I will watch Val Kilmer or Bruce Dern in just about anything and this looks entertainingly bizarre with its wild tone and fluctuating style. I just hope for something more grandiose or epic from the man who made The Godfather and, for all its oddball appeal, Twixt looks small and low-budget. It looks like something an upcoming director would produce, not a seasoned pro.
What actually makes Twixt such an exciting prospect, and indicates that there is still a reservoir of genius still buried deep within the Apocalypse Now visionary, is how he will exhibit the film to audiences.
For a limited period, Coppola will take Twixt on the road with special "live" performances of the film. Scored by a live orchestra with Coppola re-editing the film LIVE, feeding off audience reactions to change the pace and tone of the film. It feels more like a concert experience than a simple movie, which has always been a very one-sided relationship, the artist presents his work and the audience reacts. Here, the artist can react to the audience and then create a unique viewing experience for them.
Coppola performed a live demonstration at this years Comic Con, remixing the teaser footage using an iPad. For more detail on this exciting innovation, go to Badass Digest and read their blow-by-blow account of the display.
Reinventing the theatrical experience is one way to ensure audiences (no matter how niche) will continue to go out to see movies, instead of waiting to watch them at home, and while Coppola's idea may not work when finally put into practice, I applaud him for trying.
Unfortunately, most of us will have to settle for a regular, linear version. Hopefully the original version that Coppola made is strong enough to compensate.
Check out the trailer at Empire here.