The 77th edition of the Cannes festival, which kicked off last night with its red carpet, arrives surrounded by several controversies, such as the strike of workers demanding improvements in their working conditions or the complaint of nine women against the French producer Alain Sarde for sexual assault. Added to this information is the accusation of Francis Ford Coppola, who is releasing his film Megalopolis, for inappropriate behavior during filming.

As reported by The Guardian in an extensive report, several members of the film crew of the macro film project on which Coppola has been working for 40 years have criticized his erratic behavior, drug use and even alleged sexual abuse.

Several sources, who did not want to reveal their identity, have accused Coppola of inappropriate behavior with several women. As they report, despite the fact that no complaint has been filed at the moment for the events described, the filmmaker even forced women to sit on his lap. Additionally, during a nightclub scene, Coppola, they claim, entered the set and attempted to kiss several topless women “trying to get them in the mood.”

The project’s co-executive producer, Darren Demetre, defends Coppola following criticism of his alleged behavior with women. “There were two days when we filmed a celebration scene in a Studio 54-style club, where Francis walked around the set to establish the spirit of the scene, giving friendly hugs and kisses on the cheek to the cast and background actors.” , he relates. His goal, according to the co-producer, “was to help inspire and establish the atmosphere of the club, which was so important to the film.” “I was never aware of any complaints of harassment or bad behavior during the course of the project,” he concludes.

The sources also point out that the director at many times hindered the work of the entire set. “A lot of time was lost,” they say. “He would often show up in the mornings before these big sequences and because no plan had been put in place, and because he wouldn’t allow his collaborators to put a plan in place, he would just spend hours in his trailer, not talking to anyone, smoking marijuana often…” During those lapses, the team would spend hours waiting, and then “would go out and make up something that didn’t make sense, and that didn’t follow anything that anyone had talked about or anything that was on the page.” The team, sources lament, “walked away shaking their heads wondering what we had been doing for the last 12 hours.”

Apparently, he also constantly refused to use modern recording techniques such as CGI, slowing down the progress of production at many times. One of the extravagant scenes recounted by most members of the team is related to Adam Driver, whose first day, they say, “was particularly memorable.” During a time when Driver’s body was intended to be fused with futuristic material, rather than using digital techniques, Coppola wanted to achieve the effect with old-school techniques: “They tied Adam Driver to a chair for six hours , and they used a $100 projector and projected an image onto the side of his head.” In this way, “Coppola dedicated half a day to what could have been done in 10 minutes.”

Midway through filming, in December 2022, Coppola fired most members of the art and visual effects team, while many others resigned from their positions. “We were all aware that we were participating in what could be a really sad end to his career,” says one team member. But some of them felt that “he was very unpleasant to many of the people who were trying to help facilitate the process and help improve the movie.”

Critics have received the film unevenly. While some consider Megalopolis a masterpiece, others define it as an unworthy way for a great director to say goodbye to the world of cinema.