Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
May 25
November 14, 1969
Coppola's Dream Machine

Inspired by the filmmaking systems he had seen in Europe, this week in 1969 Francis Ford Coppola set up his own utopian film company, American Zoetrope. The company got its name from a zoetrope (a pre-cinematic projection device) which Coppola had been given by filmmaker Mogens Scott-Hansen, and was co-founded with George Lucas, who Coppola had met while he was filming Finian’s Rainbow on the Warner Brothers lot, where Lucas was an intern. The pair originally planned to base themselves in a mansion in the Bay Area’s Marin County, but temporarily housed the firm and their numerous pieces of equipment in a warehouse in San Francisco. The first American Zoetrope production was Lucas’ debut, THX 1138 (1971), and while the company still exists today, it is now located in San Francisco’s famous Sentinel Building and is owned by Coppola’s two filmmaking children, Sofia and Roman.


More Flashbacks
Alien May 25, 1979
Alien opens

Ridley Scott’s Alien opened May 25, 1979, and the metallic, murderous, viper-fast monster that terrorized a deep space crew on the starship Nostromo was inspired by low-tech special effect from a sci-fi spoof, Dark Star.

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May 25, 1979
The Brood released in USA

Ask any film fan to name a film about divorce, and some predictable replies — War of the Roses, Intolerable Cruelty, Kramer vs. Kramer — will come up. But what about David Cronenberg's The Brood? The 1979 horror film stars Oliver Reed as a psychotherapist whose experimental treatment causes one patient, played by Samantha Eggar, to spawn mutant children who act out her violent impulses.

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