Author Topic: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?  (Read 45723 times)

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cowboykurtis

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #150 on: June 27, 2005, 02:13:21 PM »
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i read his post - im wondering what file format - whether it would be possible to do a file transfer.
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thadius sterling

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #151 on: June 27, 2005, 07:57:52 PM »
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I still have high hopes for Megalopolis. No matter how long it takes, it will be on par with Apocalypse Now and The Godfather. Maybe FFC's movies like Jack have made it a bit difficult. Like Woody Allen said if you act like an artist they'll treat you like one, and Jack was not exactly a work of art to me (but it was still good entertainment).

This makes me think about the behind-the-scenes on Virgin Suicides, where Francis tells Sofia to "bring home the bacon."

SiliasRuby

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #152 on: June 28, 2005, 10:50:46 PM »
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Quote from: thadius sterling

This makes me think about the behind-the-scenes on Virgin Suicides, where Francis tells Sofia to "bring home the bacon."

Good advice. I also have high hopes for Megalopolis, but I am still a bit worried how long it'll take.
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kotte

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #153 on: June 29, 2005, 12:57:03 PM »
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Quote from: cowboykurtis
Quote from: kotte
Quote from: cowboykurtis
does anyone have a copy of hearts of darkness: a filmmakers apocolypse?
saw a vhs years ago been trying to find a copy ever since.


I do. Though only on the computer. PM me...


sir kotte, i know this is much of a delayed resonpse - but, what format do you have it?


.avi

I can send it to you via msn if you want...

MacGuffin

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #154 on: August 20, 2005, 12:30:03 AM »
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Director's Cut: The Outsiders
Francis Ford Coppola messes with a good thing -- and makes it even better.

"I had always intended it as an epic for kids," Francis Ford Coppola says of his 1983 adapation of S.E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders, which helped launch the careers of Rob Lowe, Tom Cruise, Emilio Estevez, and Patrick Swayze. Unfortunately, Warner Bros. didn't see it the same way: After the studio insisted that Coppola's rough cut was too long, he trimmed it by nearly 30 minutes. Now, more than two decades later, the director is releasing both a theatrical and DVD version of The Outsiders: The Complete Novel, with a new rock-infused soundtrack and several reinserted scenes, including a different beginning and ending. "It's not like I want to correct every film I work on," Coppola says, "but this was one I felt could be better served today."

Premiere: So, what made you decide to revisit The Outsiders after all this time?

Coppola: I would get letters from a new crop of fourteen-year-olds saying, "I like the movie, but why didn't you have the scene where Sodapop argues with his brothers? Or the beginning where Ponyboy gets hassled by the Socs?" It reached its culmination two or three years ago when my granddaughter's class was reading the book, and I was asked to [show them the movie] and talk about it. So I cobbled together a new version of the complete novel.

Premiere: In the 1983 release, you were credited as Francis Coppola, but for The Complete Novel, "Ford" has been added. What's up with that?

When I finished Apocalypse Now, I decided that three names was too pretentious, so I thought I'd just use Francis Coppola. I also has a theory that if I was a Spanish lord and my name was Javier Jesus De La Tara Lalala, I would use the whole thing once, and after that, I would just call myself Javier.

Premiere: Then why bother putting it in?

Coppola: Because later on in my career, everyone said, "I really liked it when you used Francis Ford Coppola." In Europe, they think Francis Ford Coppola is one name.

Premiere: How did the cast react to the new version?

Coppola: I think most of them -- Rob Lowe in particular -- feel really vindicated. Imagine how devastating it was that some of his most important scenes were cut out.

Premiere: Now that the movie is more faithful to the book, do you think those letters will finally stop coming?

Coppola: Well, now I can say, "You'll be happy to know there's gonna be a new version. Give me your address and I'll send you one."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #155 on: August 21, 2005, 12:55:21 AM »
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Quote from: macage
Premiere: In the 1983 release, you were credited as Francis Coppola, but for The Complete Novel, "Ford" has been added. What's up with that?

When I finished Apocalypse Now, I decided that three names was too pretentious, so I thought I'd just use Francis Coppola. I also has a theory that if I was a Spanish lord and my name was Javier Jesus De La Tara Lalala, I would use the whole thing once, and after that, I would just call myself Javier.

Premiere: Then why bother putting it in?

Coppola: Because later on in my career, everyone said, "I really liked it when you used Francis Ford Coppola." In Europe, they think Francis Ford Coppola is one name.

stop talking about ur damn name and make a movie already! sheesH!

Quote
Coppola: Well, now I can say, "You'll be happy to know there's gonna be a new version. Give me your address and I'll send you one."

everyone do this.
endless 'nothing is what it seems'-isms

Pozer

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #156 on: August 21, 2005, 07:55:37 PM »
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I just did.

polkablues

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #157 on: August 21, 2005, 07:59:45 PM »
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Quote from: POZER
I just did.


Dude!  Francis Ford Coppola has your address now!  He's gonna steal your identity!  Don't you watch "60 Minutes"?
Now you're in the *spoiler* place.

MacGuffin

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #158 on: September 08, 2005, 07:05:19 PM »
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Coppola Returns to 'The Outsiders'

After the critical and commercial disaster of "One From the Heart" and the failure of his Zoetrope movie studio, a bankrupt Francis Ford Coppola found himself at "the beginning of a very continuing low period."

He had to pay off creditors, who were, as he puts it, "holding everything," including his beloved winery.

"So I didn't have a lot of leeway," the 66-year-old filmmaker told The Associated Press. "I had to get a job every year and in the late '80s it got even worse."

Even he calls it a "fall from grace," going from directing "The Godfather" I and II, "The Conversation" and "Apocalypse Now" as well as writing "Patton" accumulating five Oscars in the '70s to a director-for-hire of such movies as "The Cotton Club" "Peggy Sue Got Married" and "Gardens of Stone."

The job Coppola took in early 1982, "The Outsiders" may have seemed like one of those projects, but it came to him through the mail and became a labor of love.

A librarian at the Lone Star Junior High School in Fresno, Calif wrote him:

"We are all so impressed with the book, `The Outsiders' by S.E. Hinton, that a petition has been circulated asking that it be made into a movie. We have chosen you to send it to. In hopes that you might also see the possibilities of a movie, we have enclosed a copy of the book."

"It was signed by like 110 little signatures," he recalled. "Who can ignore that?"

He didn't. And on Sept. 20 he's putting out a two-disc DVD with a version 22 minutes longer.

Over the years, Coppola has received letters from kids praising the movie, but wondering why more of their favorite book wasn't in it.

"I think for me, the showdown was when my granddaughter's class asked me to come and show the film and I was embarrassed to show the normal version," says Coppola. "So I cobbled together a version of the whole movie, the whole novel, and I remember looking at it and wondering, `Why did I ever cut this down?'"

The chief addition to the movie (subtitled "The Complete Novel") is a long opening sequence that better establishes the characters. There is more of the Curtis brothers, including one scene showing an intimate conversation in bed.

"There was a little bit of tittering when the young boys were in bed, partly because they were such beautiful kids," Coppola said. "But of course, brothers have slept together in beds for hundreds of years."

Also new is more rock 'n' roll replacing his father's sweeping, orchestral score. Coppola had originally wanted to do the whole film with Elvis Presley songs.

Making the film in the first place amounted to an escape for Coppola. "One From the Heart," a lavish musical for which he supplied much of the $24 million budget himself, was savaged by reviewers and yanked from theaters.

"There was a bit of a backlash against Francis at that point," says Matt Dillon, who starred in "The Outsiders" and "Rumble Fish" for Coppola. "He had succeeded at such a daring, high level for so long."

And Zoetrope had been put up for auction.

So as a getaway, Coppola took up the offer of the kids from Fresno and headed for Tulsa, Okla., where he would shoot "The Outsiders" and then decide to adapt "Rumble Fish," another S.E. Hinton book.

"It was, I hate to say, maybe therapy," said Fred Roos, who produced "The Outsiders" and many of Coppola's films.

Harkening back to the crucible of making "Apocalypse Now" a few years earlier as well as the "Heart" fiasco and bankruptcy, Roos said: "He just wanted to get out of town and be with kids, young actors."

Coppola, ever concerned that "The Godfather" threw him off his original, smaller ambitions, saw it as a return to his natural self: "I think it was more like the original Francis before `The Godfather' who just wanted to make personal films and use sensible-sized crews and equipment."

For the '50s teen drama about the battle between the kids from the wrong side of the tracks (the "Greasers") and the preppy kids (the "Socs"), Coppola assembled a cast of then up-and-comers: Dillon, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Diane Lane, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez and Tom Cruise.

Dillon remembers extensive rehearsal for the film conceived of as an epic, widescreen "Gone With the Wind"-for-kids but doesn't recall a downtrodden Coppola.

"I never got the sense that he was licking any wounds," the actor said. "Who would know better than Francis about the ups and downs of being a creative person, to roll with the punches?"

More punches would follow. Though "The Outsiders" was a modest success ($26 million in domestic box office), the critics didn't like the sentimentalized tale of troubled kids fending for themselves in a seemingly parentless small town.

Vincent Canby of The New York Times said the movie wasn't "conventionally bad. It is spectacularly out of touch, a laughably earnest attempt to impose heroic attitudes on some nice, small characters purloined from a `young-adult' novel."

As with "Apocalypse Now" and "One From the Heart," Coppola succumbed to pressure to shorten "The Outsiders."

"And sometimes, the wise thing to do is to lengthen," he maintained.

After "Apocalypse Now Redux," the 2003 reissue of "One From the Heart" and now "The Outsiders," Coppola said he's done with revisionism and continues to think about what his next film might be.

He's taken a year's break from "Megalopolis," a script about New York in the future that he's labored on for more than two decades.

"`Megalopolis' is like being in love with a beautiful woman who doesn't want you," he said. "So you don't get to meet anyone else and you don't get her."
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Ravi

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #159 on: May 26, 2006, 06:01:27 PM »
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FFC did a commentary for the new Patton DVD.


modage

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #160 on: August 16, 2006, 03:52:37 PM »
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10 Questions for Francis Ford Coppola
Source: Time Magazine

With his Vietnam epic Apocalypse Now due out in a DVD set this month and production of his next movie, Youth Without Youth, completed, Academy Award--winning director, vintner and hotelier Francis Ford Coppola talks with TIME's Rebecca Winters Keegan about why all war movies are antiwar movies, what grapes have done for his filmmaking career and what he has learned from his daughter, Oscar-winning screenwriter Sofia Coppola.

You say you never thought of Apocalypse Now as an antiwar movie. If this isn't an antiwar movie, what is?

All war movies are antiwar movies in that they describe horrible incidents and the most profound thing of all, to lose a young person. But I was more interested in examining the idea, from Heart of Darkness, that society could send people in to kill on behalf of some moral ideal.

The DVD contains the 1979 version of Apocalypse Now and the longer Redux version, released in 2001. Which do you prefer?


I like it longer. When it first came out, it was supposed to be a Hollywood war movie, but the first people saw it and said, "This is surreal." I got sort of shy, and so we cut it. Years later, I was in a hotel room in London and it came on, and I watched and I thought, "Hey, this isn't strange at all." I realized that over the years we, the audience, had changed.

Making Apocalypse Now almost killed you. As a young director, did you think art was worth dying for?

I was forlorn and frightened, but reports of my demise were greatly exaggerated. The Godfather was equally tough because I had little kids and I was always on the verge of being fired. Is art worth it? Probably yes.

What percentage of your films is the product of happy accidents?


Art is partly being available to accidents that fall into your lap. The ideal way to work on a project is to ask a question you don't know the answer to.

You say you would like to make "little" films now. Is this a promising time for directors with that ambition?


The movie industry is interested in films that can have sequels--"tent poles," they call them. But theoretically, every work of art is unique. My generation wanted to make personal films. A Fellini film was a Fellini film, and no one else could have made it. In wine, we call it terroir--wine speaks of the earth it comes from.

With your wealth and Hollywood stature, surely you of all people can make a personal film.


I'm fortunate to have made it in other industries, like the resort industry and the wine industry, so I could finance a small film myself every couple of years and have my dream come true. And that's what I aspire to do.

Is Youth Without Youth a "little" film?


It's a story by Mircea Eliade, a Romanian writer, that I found provocative. It wasn't about undercover cops. It was about consciousness. It starts in 1938 and runs through the Second World War and goes from Bucharest to Switzerland to India to Malta. It's a big movie in terms of tackling the production. But I financed it through my wine business, and I took a page from Sofia's--my daughter's--book where she had made Lost in Translation for just a modest amount.

I was going to ask you what you have taught Sofia about filmmaking, but perhaps I should ask what she's taught you?

I had been hitting my head against the wall for six years on a big, ambitious project, and I realized, well, even if I get this thing where I like it, who's gonna wanna make a movie that's so unusual? It's like being in love with a woman who doesn't want you. So I thought, well, I'll do what Sofia did and make a more modest film that I can just go out and do.

Why do you call yourself a young old man?


I still have the feelings of a 16-year-old. All my life I wanted to be a writer. I'm thinking now of an original story I would love to be able to pull off for my own self-respect. Choice is a theme I want to look at. When I was younger, it was regulated--you're gonna get through school, get married, have kids. Now there's a million variations on that. I think I'm more interested in personal questions.

Do you have a personal story you're saving until ...

Until all my relatives die? All of us have stories related to our families. I'm sure I could go to town if I had the courage to do it.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

modage

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #161 on: August 19, 2006, 02:03:48 PM »
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from AICN...

I attended a Q & A with Francis Ford Coppola at the DGA Tuesday night. I'm surprised that no report has yet showed up on your site, as there were tons of USC and UCLA film students in attendance. Anyway, here's a report if you want one ( please forgive the typos):

The evening started out with approximately 50 minutes of clips from the new Apocalypse Now DVD. Then Coppola entered -- it was quite a thrill to be in the same room with the man responsible for Apocalypse Now and The Godfather. I'm not sure how long the Q & A lasted, but it seemed to go on a for at least 90 minutes. Coppola had a very "mentorly/fatherly" air, and was very gracious in answering students' questions. He was very candid with his answers, and there did not seem to be any questions that were "off limits."

Here are some of the highlights:

Coppola's new film Youth Without Youth is currently being edited by his longtime collaborator Walter Murch. I don't believe Coppola mentioned a release date. He said that the current cut of the movie was around 2 hours and 45 minutes, and gave the impression that it was going to be shortened. He alluded to some other film projects in the works, which he described as "personal films."

He mentioned the fact that he hasn't directed a movie in ten years. He said that he has been writing a screenplay called Megalopolis, which has not lived up to his expectations.

When asked about how he felt about the move away from film to digital cinematography, he responded that "you have to use the weapons that are on hand." He said that he did not believe anyone would be shooting on film in four years.

The new DVD release of Apocalypse Now has been criticized by completists for not including the "Heart of Darkness" documentary. Coppola said that he didn't want to include the documentary because he considered it a separate film, not a "supplement." He also said that another company(Showtime) produced "Hearts of Darkness," and there would have been complicated rights issues involved in including it. He also mentioned that not everything in the documentary was accurate or fair to him; some of the footage was taken out of context. He wished that he could do a commentary track on the documentary to correct the misimpressions.

Regarding his opinion on the neverending conflict in the Middle East -- he mentioned something about how he wanted to gather a group of Palestinean and Israeli artists, and have them create art together, while discussing ways of solving their problems -- then film the experience and show it in cinemas across the world. (It was something like that ... it sounded a lot more eloquent when Coppola described it.) I got the impression that this was more of an idea rather than a firm project that he had in mind.

On firing Harvey Keitel and re-casting Martin Sheen as Willard in Apocalypse-- he said that it was one of the few times in his career that he had to fire an actor, and it was a very difficult thing to do. He said that Keitel was more from the New York school of acting and drew too much attention to himself -- which he felt was inappropriate for the character, who he viewed as being more passive.

He was quite vocal in his dislike for The Godfather video game.

The water buffalo that was killed at the end of Apocalypse was already going to be sacrificed. Coppola said that he just filmed the sacrifice -- it was not killed specifically for the film; it was going to be killed anyway. However, he did have another water buffalo on hand in case they needed to do another take.

He thinks studios and filmmakers put too much emphasis pursuing blockbusters and franchises, and urged filmmakers to pursue personal films.

I was also surprised to learn that Coppola actually owned Apocalypse Now -- meaning, I assume, that he owns the actual film negative and all rights. He said that Paramount holds the film in trust for him, but he is actually owner. He mentioned that he also owns The Conversation, and that Sofia Coppola owns Lost in Translation.

Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

MacGuffin

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #162 on: March 22, 2007, 12:54:44 PM »
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The Godfather Returns
The five time Academy Award winner just wrapped his first movie since 1997's ''The Rainmaker''
Source: EW
 
Legends often disappear — it's how they protect their legacy against the fading of inspiration and popular demand. But nobody expected it from Francis Ford Coppola, who survived both exaltation (Godfather I and II, Apocalypse Now) and a fall from grace (Godfather III, Jack). In 1997 — after releasing the John Grisham thriller The Rainmaker — the five-time Oscar winner abandoned filmmaking for his Napa Valley vineyard, which he quickly built into a hugely profitable empire.

Now, just as unexpectedly, he's roaring back, with a pair of movies he's writing, directing, and financing himself. He just finished editing Youth Without Youth, a philosophical time-travel romance starring Tim Roth and, in an uncredited cameo, Matt Damon. He hopes to shoot his next film, an immigrant saga called Tetro, this fall. In a revealing chat, the 67-year-old discusses his burst of creativity, a desire to go amateur, and the misunderstood work of his new mentor: Sofia Coppola.

What can you tell us about Tetro?
It goes back to what I was doing on The Conversation and The Rain People: writing out of my heart. It's an original screenplay set in Buenos Aires, which has an enormous Italian immigrant population. It has to do with a younger brother going out to find an older brother [played by Matt Dillon] who had left his family 15 years before.

Do you feel like you've gotten your groove back?
I'm announcing a new phase where I make more personal films. [That's]what I started out doing. Then I had this fabulous accident that was The Godfather, which changed my life. I found myself shifting from my original intention, which was more akin to Woody Allen. Every year he'd write a screenplay and make a pretty good personal film. I always admired him.

Your last movie was The Rainmaker. Did that play a role in your decision to quit making Hollywood movies?
I knew it before. I was going to use the money I had earned to sponsor a big personal film [Megalopolis, an urban fantasy script that he's been working on for two decades] because I thought, ''I'm known for big productions like Apocalypse Now...'' I did work quite hard on this screenplay and I was never able to lick it. I finally took a cue from my daughter, who went off and made [Lost in Translation] quickly and successfully. I thought I could do another project the same way. And when I read Youth Without Youth [a novella by Romanian philosopher Mircea Eliade], I said, ''I could afford to just jump in and make this movie.'' It takes place throughout the '30s and '40s in Berlin, and it's a love story about life and how we see time and consciousness.

How did it feel to get back in the director's chair?
Whether you're introducing a new line of wines or directing a film, you're in a similar position: You're putting on a show. I approached it like a 17-year-old, which was to not be intimidated by my own experience.

Has Sofia seen Youth?
We're going to have the baptism of her new baby in a month, so I'll show it to them all then.

Do you and Sofia trade advice on your works in progress?
I'm totally proud of Sofia because she makes films so uncompromisingly. I personally feel that Marie Antoinette was one of the most original films of the year. But to watch it come out and see it attacked... She's very copacetic about it, and I, as her father, am very annoyed.... It's the third film in a very impressive young career. Fortunately, she's made of steel.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Pubrick

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #163 on: March 24, 2007, 02:39:12 AM »
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Woody Allen. Every year he'd write a screenplay and make a pretty good personal film. I always admired him.

is Woody Allen dead?
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MacGuffin

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Re: Is Francis Ford Coppola dead?
« Reply #164 on: May 09, 2007, 08:51:10 PM »
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Harry sits down in Austin with Francis Ford Coppola and talks YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH, Seventies film, Wine, TETRO and the Coppolas
Source: AICN

Hey folks, Harry here... Yesterday was one of those momentous days in one's life. It began with Yoko and I going to the post office to mail out the wedding invitations. As the stamps were affixed, it seemed to finalize in our minds the fact that, indeed, we're getting married. After that, I was to go to the fabulous Driskill Hotel on 6th Street to interview, one on one with Francis Ford Coppola.

I wasn't so much as nervous about this meeting, as much as I was stunned that it was happening. That I would be sitting down with Coppola in my home town, in the classiest hotel in town, in his room... 1 on 1. It was incredible. Then afterwards, I was going to the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown, to meet Farley Granger to watch my favorite Hitchcock film, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, and have Farley autograph my original 1-sheet to me. It was a great day/night.

I found Coppola to be a relaxed and calming personality. There was no tension in the room, he seemed to be exactly a physical reflection of the surroundings he was in. Classy, comfortable and hospitable.

Some notes on the below interview. This is actually, the first time... in history, that I've done a sit down in-person ONE on ONE interview. So in preparation for the interview, I bought a fancy mini-tape hand held voice recorder and... after testing it... it turns out, I had it on a setting called VOX, which throughout the interview, it just would shut off, then turn back on. Sometimes missing great deals of our conversation.

What's missing? Essentially our rather lengthy discussion about Coppola's Wines, which I dearly love. And that he is extremely proud of. Also missing is most of the details upon his next film TETRO. That said, what I do have with you is close to 4000 words between Francis and myself.

I hope to have a chance in the future to bring Francis to town for a screening of YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH and to sit with him again, with better equipment to continue our conversation.

Thanks goes out to AICN intern extraordinaire, Mike for his transcription of the faulty tape - and I hope you readers out there enjoy this remarkable opportunity I had with the brilliant, Francis Ford Coppola...

Harry: So what brings you to Austin?

Coppola: Well, I always like to come to Austin and as you know, I’m doing a show… my wife’s new documentary tonight, in a few hours and … I basically told my company, “OK, I’ll give you the month of May, but …”

Harry: Yeah

Coppola: “… and be of what use I can be and then June I’m leaving, so take advantage of me…”

Harry: So you start filming down…

Coppola: Not filming, but I have to do the preparation…

Harry: Right..

Coppola: Right.

Harry: Cool. I’m supposed to give you the “Hello” from Guillermo del Toro.

Coppola: So you’re friend is in London, right?

Harry: He’s in Budapest at the moment and I’m heading to Bucharest at the end of the week, I’m supposed to meet him at the end of the week and catch up, so…

Coppola: How long has it been since you’ve seen him?

Harry: About a year

Coppola: How is his weight, how did that operation go for him?

Harry: He said it went pretty great and he’s shed off quite a bit of weight, I’m actually supposed to go through the same process that he…

Coppola: …went through…

Harry: Yeah.

Coppola: Yeah, it’s for his health, you know he’s got to really watch it. You too, ya know… you’re young. How old are you?

Harry: I’m thirty-five.

Coppola: Oh, you’re really young…

Harry: Yeah, I’m a kid, but speaking of youth, when I was reading the diary you had on the site for YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH… you had put out that you were concerned about great talent, recapturing the glory of their youth, and why great artists made great works at such a young age and then trying to recapture that for the rest of their careers, often times without success…

Coppola: Well it wasn’t really a concern, I was really using that little essay in three parts, because it was the first time I had announced to our constituency of that site that I was going to return to directing …it was a guessing game, where I first had one paragraph called “Youth,” then a paragraph with a “W” and an “O” and then the third, but it was actually a game I was playing with them …and they knew it was a “W” and they were trying to guess and you know, it was three little essays on, yes, the phenomenon of why… not to be concerned, but it was pretty evident in those paragraphs that I was just wondering why it is that often artists and novelists, playwrights make their mark when they are younger, than when they try to recapture or move past that and when they do, they discover they only had so many arrows in their quiver, I use that word a lot, quiver. …but also, I noted that, you know, often these young people come to the public’s attention when they are young, whereas it’s very rare for someone to be discovered and have their imprint made later in life. I for one mentioned Bill Kennedy as an example of that… You know, just exploring what it takes. As I was saying earlier, that I feel all of us are given a certain quiver of arrows and once you expose them, that’s somewhat it and so many… You know, even the great ones, even Tennessee Williams or Joseph Heller or Fellini or the guy with the, what’s his name? You know a very famous writer that writes a lot about boxing, what’s his name? (Francis was searching for Norman Mailer)

Harry: Yeah, I know, from the Ali/Forman documentary

Coppola: …he writes a lot about boxing and anyway that guy that you know or who wrote FROM HERE TO ETERNITY? That’s Jones? (James Jones)

Harry: Yeah.

Coppola: But, like if you get discovered and then you lay on what you got to lay on and then after you do that, you go on repeating yourself… few artists are able to come up later in their lives after exposing their few quivers, I would, I refer to arrows, but few with a whole new thing… Shakespeare could do it and you know, I was using it to tantalize my group there to the announcement of YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH.

Harry: You also mentioned trying to forget what you’ve learned as a filmmaker…

Coppola: Well that’s also challenging myself and would I be able to, in a sense, be able to make myself young again by trying to forget everything I knew and approach film with in the years of experience making movies.

Harry: So you forget everything you that you know… What did you do on this that you short of shucked off what you have done in the past?

Coppola: Partly in setting up an auspices... in other words, without all the protection.

Harry: Right.

Coppola: I mean as, you know, you look at any important director and when they go out… certainly in the commercial film world, they go out with a script that has been evolved in a long process of… well there are scripts being developed for them and then when the floor get rewritten and they put other writers on it, like the best writers available… they’ll take the best one and make that, then the other three will be shopped around for other directors and then they are sure to have the best cast that money can buy, the best photographer that money can buy… so they’re going out pretty protected…

Harry: Yeah.

Coppola: …whereas I was going to go and take myself and go to a place that no one can really get near me and get a cast and crew that may not, today be the best that money can buy, but who knows, it might evolve to be the best that money can buy - and with a script that I wrote myself, but I started off in my younger days wanting to be a playwright in the tradition of Tennessee Williams and Eugene O’Neil.

Harry: You shot YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH digitally didn’t you?

Coppola: I had never said how I did it, because I shot film and digital and I kind of maintained that everyone should look at it and kind of figure out how I did it…

Harry: Right.

Coppola: …but, we did shoot film as well.

Harry: How did you come to the material, YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH?

Coppola: I had been working for a year that period, when I was working on MEGALOPOLIS, during the so-called 10 years when I wasn’t doing anything, I was a little preoccupied on this script I wrote that I had made into an extremely ambitious project, that it was very difficult even to get feedback on it, given the fact that the sort of notes I would get would be related to the projects’ financial or pop-value.

I didn’t want that kind of narrow movie feedback, because I was trying to write a script that was even more ambitious than that. it’ll grow up after a while… I sent it to a friend that I had known in high school who was a young woman who became a great [tape blurs here] …at the University of Chicago and she read my script and gave me some notes, from a broader literary or intellectual perspective, which is what I wanted. That’s what I was trying to do and in the course of it, she sent me a lot of quotes from Mercea Eliade, who was this professor and thinker from which I learned a lot of stuff. And she had a lot of quotes relative to a couple of the themes I was playing with related to the consciousness of MEGALOPOLIS and I became curious of the story that these quotes had come from and I managed to get it. It wasn’t easy to get. When I read it, I just said “well, here I go. I’ll just retell everybody and I’ll just write this and go off on my own and use my own dough and just make a film.” …instead of being you know, stuck with this MEGALOPOLIS project which after the events of September 11th, 2001, I just didn’t know how to continue with it.

Harry: Is that what happened to it? Was when 9/11, it…

Coppola: It made it really pretty tough… a movie about the aspiration of utopia with New York as a main character and then all of a sudden you couldn’t write about New York without just dealing with what happened and the implications of what happened. The world was attacked and I didn’t know how to try to do with that. I tried.

Harry: When do you think that you could revisit that material?

Coppola: I have abandoned that as of now. I’m now going to… I plan to begin a process of making one personal movie after another and if something leads me back to look at that, which I’m sure it might, I’ll see what makes sense to me.

Harry: I think it’s fascinating that you have decided to go and make personal films again, as opposed to the more commercial efforts like something like [THE] RAINMAKER… but did you feel that [THE] RAINMAKER and JACK and DRACULA and those films were more commercial fare, but I assume they were of course personal to you?

Coppola: I’ll address that, but there’s no question that those pictures where made at a time when I was financially way in hock at that time. You remember that I filed bankruptcy at that time, so I made a series of pictures to pay that off and then when I reached the point with DRACULA, that I had pretty much fixed that. My wife agreed with me, that I should make three more studio films to save money up and that I could keep that money separate and use it to make MEGALOPOLIS, so I made JACK, primarily to work with Robin Williams. It was his project and I was sort of suggested to him as a possibility, and Robin is a personality and a San Francisco neighbor that I had always wanted to collaborate with. I went into THE RAINMAKER pretty much because I was also fascinated by just [John] Grisham’s knack to make bestselling stories. After I finished that one, I just said “well I’ve kind of had it and I’m not going to do a third one,” [studio film] and then took the money I earned from most of it to put into MEGALOPOLIS and actually went to New York and did some tests and started looking at actors

Harry: I remember, I was covering all the details at that, many people were quite excited about that project.

Coppola: That’s how I financed that. I used… you know, my wife would be generous and said “look, it brought us back from financial disaster, you should make films from yourself, and use that money to make the first one.” So I tried and then I got into my snag with um… the events of that date …and then the World Trade Towers and I didn’t know what to do. Then at the time, my company also started to get more successful, so the financial earnings that I had from that period dating back from the bankruptcy to that point was such a success that I could finally afford to just make movies and finance them on my own.

Harry: How have you seen that your self financing route has liberated you from the days having to deal with the modern day studio process?

Coppola: Well, you know it’s the same process, even at the independent level… is so geared towards making money, I mean they want to have awards and be considered important artistically, but the biggest reason the big studios have the independent companies, is to uncover talent that they can eventually plug into their mainstream films like with Sam Raimi

Harry: Or some minor leagues going to the majors…

Coppola: Exactly! That’s why they’re in it… and so those things are operated, like you take FOX SEARCHLIGHT… I mean, they… LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE is the perfect kind of movie that they want to find, because not only do get a feel good movie which is essentially the same sort of thing the big studio side is making, that film is a junior version of what they ideally want to be making.. The studios are rarely interested in personal films, unless it gets them closer to talent that they’ll want to exploit elsewhere. Like the directors on LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, they’ll be working in outside the independent area.

When I was in a position to finance my own movie, my goal was to start shooting the first day without anyone evening knowing I was making the movie and I only got busted really by Variety…who said “tell us about it or we’re going to announce it,” and I mean what, we were about three weeks away from shooting and I said, “well, you know, ok here it is.” But ideally, I’d love to make films without people looking at what I was doing, or second guessing the process. To just go from film to film and be making the next one before anyone caught on to what I was doing.

Harry: Richard Linklater does that here in Austin…

Coppola: Just starts, huh?

Harry: Literally, you will sit around, then the next thing you know you will see “Is that Rick shooting down at the corner? Yes, he is!” He’s just shooting digitally and hired actors… nobody knows what he’s up to…

Coppola: How does he even finance these things?

Harry: I’m not really sure, but it seems sometimes he just starts and then takes it to somebody at a certain point and says “Hey, I need… at this point I need to bring people on” or he will do rehearsals with his actors and show people that work. At least on his very indie films.

Coppola: That sounds like a good route and in answer to your question, the more privacy that you can maintain while you are in the formulative… It’s like, what would happen if a woman had conceived and she had to like half her belly in this glass thing and then everybody going like “well, I don’t know about the nose. It’s not going good… what do you think about that… I don’t think this is working…” There are things you want to do in privacy when you are creating and I think because you’re so secure, because nobody can be secure and you don’t want to hear all of those opinions, because you are trying to hang on to it all.

Harry: How much of the sort of fantastical elements of Eliade’s novella did you stay true to, I mean how accurate to that novella in terms of him being struck by lightning and returned to youth or…?

Coppola: Oh I loved that when I read it in the story, but there was so much more to the story like Eliade would mention that or that other things that he’s splitting into other personalities and you have this sense of the characters that were overshadowing the population… And they were superior intellectually, but that they can have their nuclear wars, because the people who would be left would be able to rebuild everything that weekend, you know? As I read the book, it just continued to surprise me with each layer of where he took the story so I tried, within my ability, to get that in a two hour movie.

Harry: When you were making films in the seventies, Like THE GODFATHER and THE CONVERSATION, I have a sixteen millimeter print of that one, because it was so unavailable until recently…otherwise, What was it about the seventies that made the films that you made, and Friedkin and Bogdanovich and Scorsese… That original group of seventies filmmakers. What is so different about the industry today, from back then?

Coppola: Well, I think those days were still, in a way, run by either the great showmen of the past, the Jack Warners and Louis B Mayers… It had, at that time, jus recently lost them. But they were real showmen, kind of like Harvey (Weinstein) is these years, you know, he’s vulgar and he’s this showman. And the studios in those days they didn’t know what to do. The business was changing, THE SOUND OF MUSIC and had been the number one picture.

Then Arthur Penn makes BONNIE & CLYDE with Warren Beatty and suddenly were in there talking a big storm saying “let us do this and let us do that,” Then MIDNIGHT COWBOY got made with the great John Schlesinger and so there was suddenly now something to shoot for and Kubrick jumped in and started talking fast and you know, after them, there were accidents, like I made THE GODFATHER. That was supposed to be a regular studio picture, but I sort of took it my own way despite the fact that they didn’t want me to and I only got to make THE CONVERSATION because of the success of THE GODFATHER. So, there was just an opportunity that opened up, because the studios thought that they did not know what to do.

Now the studios know what to do, so they make SPIDER-MAN and they want to make PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN and that’s their formula that they have. That’s why they won’t make a drama anymore, they’re only interested in franchises. So that’s the business they are in now, and the big money of this year and this summer is going to come from three movies – SPIDERMAN, and the PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN and SHREK…so they have what they want… they know what to do. In the seventies, they didn’t know what to do.

Harry: What sort of advice do you give to like Roman [Coppola] and Sofia [Coppola], because I mean, I love CQ.

Coppola: Me too.

Harry: I think it is just a spectacular film and everything that Sofia has done has been just…

Coppola: Original! She goes her own way.

Harry: My fiancé’s favorite movie of last year was MARIE ANTOINETTE. She wants every shoe that was in the film and was just, in love with the juxtaposition of the music and the era. What advice have you given them? I mean, are they being courted by the big studios to make big projects or are they wanting to stay true to the path that I’ve seen them on, so far, which is making incredibly personal projects?

Coppola: They only want to make personal films. Sofia has had such success with LOST IN TRANSLATION which gave her the opportunity to turn her MARIE ANTIONETTE idea into something larger, which she wanted to do with that mainly because the style dictated that level of production. Roman hasn’t quite had the success yet, that Sofia has, but you take both of them, and you ask what I taught them, well, I taught them to make personal films.

They’re already rich from wine you know, so they don’t need to make much… Sofia is rich and so is Roman.

Harry: How does it feel to be making movies?

Coppola: It’s what I really love to do and I must say that having total control of a production, because it was dough and having the privacy that I want. And just how many more I can make at my age.

*Coppola Laughs*

Harry: Well, I mean currently you’re pretty young in comparison to the ages that Hitchcock, Ford and Kurosawa were… they made movies till they were far older than you are.

Coppola: Yeah, no, I didn’t… you know, you just hope that I can stay healthy and be in good shape and enthusiastic… the enthusiasm. I mean, enthusiasm certainly is an ingredient that gets you up in the morning and gets you to walk up that hill, which normally you’d go “Oh, you know, what do I want to go to that hill for?” But if that’s where the shot is…

Harry: Yeah.

Coppola: You kind of do it without thinking about it. I feel very blessed and am very excited and I hope I make a sort of film right after TETRO, because now I feel I have what I’ve always wanted, which is the freedom I’ve always wanted.

Harry: … you are back doing the directing. What are you doing with Zoetrope? Do you intend to continue to produce and cultivate other talent…or are you concentrating more on your own personal direction these days?

Coppola: Well, Zoetrope is now owned by Roman [Coppola] and Sofia [Coppola]. I no longer own it and they make the decisions there. … the kids, Roman and Sofia, have decided they don’t just want to make movies just for movies’ sake. They only want to make projects that they care about personally, …but, they’re ready to do it.

Harry: …I’m excited to see you directing again, but I’m also hope to see you in a producing level, while also following both Roman and Sofia’s careers. It is amazing to me how wonderful their films are turning out. Sofia and Roman are really becoming great filmmakers.

Coppola: They were raised in it as little kids. They’ve been around movies all their lives. They were on location on APOCOLYPSE [NOW]. They were there.

Harry: So often, great writers or artists whose sons and daughters in turn attempt to become great writers, it doesn’t really turn out that way, you hope that they have the hereditary gene for brilliance, but it rarely happens…

Coppola: …but I think the movie business is more like the circus.

Harry: Yeah.

Coppola: And we are more like a circus family, because there is a talent element, but there’s also a lot of other daring and experience and you just have to have the passion and drive to do it. The Carnival has to have you.

Harry: It’s a pleasure to meet you!
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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