With the financial problems of his movie studio and a spate of commercially unsuccessful films, director Francis Ford Coppola says he is putting the demands of Hollywood behind him and is moving to Italy, where he and his wife, Eleanor, will spend the next five years. "I came to Rome to look for a tranquil place to live," Coppola told the Italian magazine Grazia. "At my age, and after having paid all my debts, I had a desire for reflection, the need to find myself. I want to be free. I don't want to have producers around me telling me what to do. The real dream of my life is a place where people can live in peace and create what they want. I am saying basta to economic blackmail." Coppola has signed a contract with Cinecittà, the Italian production company, and is planning to make two films in Italy, using new electronic techniques. "My ideal film? So big and complicated that it would seem impossible," he said. "A marvelous technology capable of expressing the most profound sense of life. I am not interested in a life without difficulties to resolve."
Prince Charles will be popping over to the States for a visit in February. The official word from Buckingham Palace is that he'll be visiting Washington, D.C., and New York, but friends claim he'll also be heading to Vero Beach and Palm Beach, in Florida, to play polo. There's a dark cloud over director Ridley (Blade Runner) Scott's new film, Black Rain. The Jaffe-Lansing production, which stars Michael Douglas as a New York City detective who captures a Japanese murderer and brings him back to Japan, is said to be behind schedule. It is also "a little under 10 percent" over its $30 million budget, according to a member of the production team. The reason? The Japanese apparently expect filming schedules to be honored to the minute—and when they are not, both tempers and costs run high. Take the scene shot at a pachinko (pinball) parlor in Osaka. When filming ran 20 minutes late, the owner of the establishment began screaming and kicking producer Sherry Lansing. Lansing denies that the film is over budget and behind schedule. She also says she wasn't assaulted, but an onlooker says Sherry did indeed get whacked. "She didn't know what hit her—literally." After a month of shooting in Japan—and getting only half their shots—the company is now scouting locations in Napa Valley.
Can't wait for the second half of ABC's 30-hour mini-series War and Remembrance, to be shown this May, which just happens to be a sweeps month in the ratings? Well, it's not letting too much out of the bag to disclose that it will include a romantic scene in which submarine skipper Briny Henry, played by Hart Bochner, embraces his wife, Natalie Jastrow, played by Jane Seymour. In reality, for the actors the scene was more frightening than it was passionate. Huddled together while a helicopter-borne camera crew hovered overhead, Bochner and his co-star were actually very nervous. "All either of us could think about was the Twilight Zone disaster," he says, "and that this helicopter kept hovering over us and not leaving."
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