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Movie poster of the week: "The Rain People"


Francis Ford Coppola turned 70 this month, which would have been reason enough to resurrect this incredible poster for his little-known 1969 film The Rain People and to remember the good times before Jack and Youth Without Youth. But this week I heard it on good authority that Coppola's newest film Tetro is some kind of a masterpiece, or at the very least a return to form, and who hasn't been waiting for that for a couple of decades? Tetro, shot in Buenos Aires and starring Vincent Gallo, sounds like an Argentinian Rocco and his Brothers and, amazingly is Coppola's first completely original screenplay since The Conversation in 1974 and, before that, The Rain People. And get this, in a video titled "My Boys" on the Tetro website Vincent Gallo talks about how he owed it to Coppola to work with him because Coppola made him love movies. And Coppola chimes in "And you know what picture it was that did it for him? Rain People! That's his favorite movie." Gallo goes on to rhapsodize about the film and Coppola's wife Eleanor asks him off-camera if he's seen "the Rain People documentary" and Gallo says "no, he promises it to me every day." The documentary, it turns out, was directed by none other than George Lucas. Long unavailable, The Rain People itself (not the doc, sadly) has just been released on DVD by Warner Brothers as part of their bare-bones Warner Archive series. And Tetro opens on June 11.

Thanks to Ned at Obscure One-Sheet for turning me onto this poster. Meanwhile, here is the French poster for the film, which is equally awesome.

Does the Conversation count as “completely original” since it was based on Cortazar’s “Blow Up?” Not at all to take away from The Conversation’s genius but still…
Well, he was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for The Conversation, but I see your point. Believe me, it would have been much better for the purposes of this post if I’d been able to say that Tetro is his first original screenplay since The Rain People.
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I love the tag line of the first poster: “Rain people are very fragile… one mistake in love and they dissolve.”
I’m excited about having the opportunity to see a fresh new print of this film at the SF International in celebration of its 40th anniversary and to honor Sr. Coppola on the Castro Theatre stage.
I’m new to this Poster of the Week thing, but let me just offer my highest compliment by saying that I now have a new hobby. As corny as it sounds, I plan to create my own scrapbook. It’s a new jumping-off point for thinking about film. Anyway, RAIN PEOPLE has stayed with me since I first saw it. Fortunately, I came across it at about the same time I saw THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER, RACHEL, RACHEL, and THE GYPSY MOTHS. I think of these pictures as somehow belonging together.

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