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Lightning strikes twice in Youth Without Youth


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The problem with going for broke is that you often wind up broke. I can't really recommend Youth Without Youth, Francis Ford Coppola's European-art-film-ish fantasia on such abstract ideas as the origins of language and the transmigration of souls. It's at best a folly, at worst an outright annoyance.

But it's also a gorgeous canvas, all ochres and umbers and burnt siennas. And Coppola, who hasn't directed in 10 years, still has some moves, even if the script is strictly for the birds -- dodos, in particular.

Tim Roth plays a Romanian professor who, as a result of being struck by lightning, becomes young again, this time with heightened mental powers and a burning desire to both crack the cosmic egg and make love to a woman (Alexandra Maria Lara). She, as a result of being struck by lightning (can't these people come in out of the rain?), is now the reincarnation of a 7th-century Buddhist shaman.

A familiarity with Sanskrit may help, but I doubt it.

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