“Parents who empower their children” sooner or later discover that “ultimately their children leave,” Youth Without Youth director Francis Coppola has told Vanity Fair writer Bruce Handy.

“But you can be satisfied, you can be happy you did that,” Coppola explains, because having kids like this is “better than kids who are hanging around, sort of dependent on you or something. My kids are not like that.”

Coppola’s wife Eleanor, he says, “always tells me that, because I lament, ‘Where are my kids? Where are my grandkids?’ And my wife says, ‘Well, you gave them a wonderful thing. Aside from everything else you’ve given them, you’ve given them the livelihood that they can go and pursue their own lives.'”

Youth Without Youth is having its first press screening tonight. I’dd like to attend, of course — it’s Coppola, after all, and a long-awaited effort — but the reviews out of the Rome Film Festival have been dispiriting, to say the least. Not to mention the general “forget it” buzz that I’ve been hearing since last spring. The result is that I’m looking for ways to avoid seeing it. There is only one film I’d rather see less, and that’s Love in the Time of Cholera. Is that a fair-minded way of looking at things? No, but it’s the honest truth.