Cinema: Only Geography

Once upon a time, Hollywood was a town without a country. To portray small-town America, camera crews would generally go no farther than the studio lot, where an idealized Main Street stood gleaming in the California sun. It is much to the credit of Director Francis Ford Coppola that he refused to accept that kind of prefabricated fakery. Bundling a handful of actors and technicians into a fleet of cars, he drove from New York to Colorado, filming a story about a young married woman on the run from responsibility. The result, called The Rain People, has such a strong sense...

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