Sound On Sight Radio #148 – Tetro (Francis Ford Coppola special)

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In celebration of the release of his latest film, the semi-autobiographical Tetro, Sound on Sight finally takes its first look at the filmography of Francis Ford Coppola, who is of course most famous for helming the Godfather trilogy. We’re going to steer clear of those films for now, and instead talk about Tetro, along with the less-than-rapturuously-received Youth Without Youth, as well as rewind back to 1974’s The Conversation, which Coppola produced between the first and second Godfathers.


  1. FarmVille Money says

    Your website looks really good. Being a blog writer myself, I really appreciate the time you took in writing this article.

  2. Clare Nina says

    Great show as always!

    “The Conversation” is such a wonderful film and it’s great you mentioned Walter Murch’s sound design. I love the effect it has on the viewer as the film progresses. It’s almost as if your mind becomes one with Caul’s.
    Also, thanks for the reminder about the amazing Shire score – definitely going to have to add it to the list for Undertones!

    Can’t wait to see “Tetro” but still haven’t seen “Youth…” Not sure I want to now!

    PS Don’t hate me, Ricky but I own both a Gallo album and “Buffalo 66”!

    1. Ricky says

      Hey Clare,

      I actually really like Buffalo 66 and I find him to be an interesting artist to say the least. I just don’t like him the person. I mentioned in my top 10 film critics article that I feel that critics should acknowledge their prejudices and admit to it. I only brought up the fact that I did not like him because in the film he plays an artist and a prick whom you are not supposed to like. So there fore he was well cast as Tetro. However I am still not sold on him as a good actor.

  3. Wil says

    I completely agree with the ambivalent hatred which Simon and Ricky had for Youth Without Youth. ”Stylish but dull” is a very good shorthand way to summarise the film. It was one of my most disappointing films of the last few years. Coppola is a legend, and has made many great films outside the four masterpieces which are always sighted. Not least the amazing One from the Heart and Rumble Fish, both which are ridiculously underrated!

    The Conversation is a masterpiece. Gene Hackman has some of the most amazing performances of any actor in the 1970s, The Conversation; Night Moves; Scarecrow; French Connection.

    I look forward to Tetro with my fingers crossed…

    1. Ricky says

      If you can get past the somewhat weak script and realize he made a great film from a not so good screenplay, you will like it.

  4. midnightepiphany says

    Great ep!

    Lying in bed last night I think I finally figured out Tetro (not that there’s anything to “get” really, but things became clear as if a thematic fog was lifted).

    I think the three male main characters in the movie are meant to ultimately represent three sides of the “creator” or the “artist” or however you want to name it. First you have the father, the dream of the masterpiece, the ideal that first drives you to create, ultimately disconnected from everything because it’s just an ideal. Then you have the middle ground, Tetro, the tortured genius, who is half-between the ideal and the concrete realization of that ideal, struggling between keeping it to himself or bringing it to light. Finally you have the son, the compromise to overcome the ego and to make the masterpiece public. These characters are all Tetrovic, all facets of the same Tetro, and they come to embody the different forces that affect one who is trying to create. It’s an introspective study on the act of creation…

    It’s probably more complex than that but I think that’s somewhat in the right direction, would be curious to hear what you guys think!

    P.S. Mariko sounds hot

    1. Ricky says

      Well I agree Mariko sounds hot. Give me a day to really let your views on Tetro soak in. You may be on to something.

    2. Ricky says

      I don’t think that characters in the movie represent three sides of the same creator but rather focus on three different stages of the lives of three different artists. If that makes any sense?

  5. bleuaméricaine says

    Fantastic episode. The only one of these movies I’ve seen is The Conversation, which bizarrely left a deep impression on me, yet it’s hard for me to remember any details from it… (Except for the fact that young Harrison Ford is dreamily gayish in it.) I need to rewatch it soon.

    I have to say I’m totally looking forward to seeing Tetro, even though I only have an imaginary dick – sorry Mariko…

    (P.S. Wow, Simon! I thought I was a total loser because I hadn’t seen any of the Godfather films by the time I was 20… Maybe you win? )

  6. […] 148 – Francis Ford Coppola Part I: Tetro, Youth Without Youth & The Conversation […]

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