There is little known about Coppola's sci-fi epic Megalopolis beyond the Wikipedia description of the premise, which reads: "In New York, a woman (Nathalie Emmanuel) is divided between loyalties to her father (Forest Whitaker), who has a classical view of society, and her lover (Adam Driver), who is more progressive and ready for the future."
The director took to Instagram to share the four books "that strongly have influenced [ Megalopolis ]" and his view of the "society we live in." Let's take a look at them below.
4 Books That Inspired Francis Ford Coppola's Megalopolis
1. Debt: The First 5000 Years by David Graeber
Do you think you understand how debt influences our fundamental notions of morality?
Debt: The First 5,000 Years is a book that explores the historical relationship of debt with social institutions such as barter, marriage, friendship, slavery, law, religion, war, and government. The book provides an intriguing account of this lesser-known history of debt, illustrating its profound influence on human civilization.
This book may have influenced how Coppola approached shaping Driver's character, who has a more progressive view of the world and challenges traditional thought.
2. Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber
In Bullshit Jobs , David Graeber delves into the question of whether people's jobs make a meaningful contribution to the world. The book aims to give individuals, corporations, and societies permission to reevaluate their values and prioritize meaningful work. It appeals to those who wish to transform their vocations into fulfilling pursuits that contribute to a more purposeful society.
Again, this seems to be another thread into Coppola's progressive take on what it means to live in a traditional society. Rather than work to work, this book challenges this notion by asking why we don't do work that feels purposeful to us and society.
3. The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow
The Dawn of Everything presents a groundbreaking perspective on human history, challenging established assumptions about social evolution. Authors David Graeber and David Wengrow question traditional narratives regarding the development of agriculture, cities, the state, democracy, and inequality. They explore new possibilities for human emancipation and offer a fresh understanding of our ancestors.
After the first two books, it is easy to see why this particular book inspired Coppola. By incorporating the themes, ideas, and intellectual journey of The Dawn of Everything into the movie, the story could gain a thought-provoking and philosophical dimension. It could explore the clash of ideas and values while offering a broader perspective on human history and the possibilities for societal transformation.
4. The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse
The final novel of Hermann Hesse, The Glass Bead Game is a fascinating tale of the complexity of modern life as well as a classic of modern literature. The novel tells the story of Joseph Knecht, who has been raised in Castalia, the remote place his society has provided for the intellectual elite to grow and flourish. For his entire life, Knecht has been obsessed with mastering the Glass Bead Game, which requires a synthesis of aesthetics and philosophy, which he achieves in adulthood, becoming a Magister Ludi (Master of the Game).
Overall, the novel's exploration of intellectual pursuits, societal complexities, and the clash between tradition and progress makes it a potential source of inspiration for Coppola.
What's next? Check out our best screenwriting books !
There is plenty of inspiration out there in the world. From people-watching to reading the endless amount of books that are out there, you can find a spark of inspiration for your next epic story.
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