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Quint talks filmmaking with the legendary Francis Ford Coppola!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. There seems to be one or two moments a year where I find myself way in over my head, sitting down in front of someone that should not be giving the likes of me the time of day. Last Tuesday was the first one of those in the year 2009. I was in Los Angeles for a few secret things and my trip just happened to coincide with a press day with Francis Ford Coppola, talking up his newest flick TETRO. I was told if I could make the screening Monday afternoon that I could have 20 minutes with Coppola. So, yeah. I made damn sure I could make the movie. TETRO is obviously a very personal film for Coppola, much like his last flick YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH. You get the feeling that he’s absolutely not compromising a single frame or decision, making the exact film he wants to make. When Coppola and the young lead Alden Ehrenreich entered the room Coppola first noticed the Roland Edirol Digital Audio Recorder I use for interviews. He picked it up and turned it around in his hands, asking about the background and that’s where we start off.



Quint: They actually built these for concert halls, for the orchestras in those giant halls. It’s a stereo recorder.

Francis Ford Coppola: I’m sure they love it when you go and make your own recording of the orchestra when they say “Don’t make a recording.”

Quint: I haven’t done that part yet.

Francis Ford Coppola: You can take this to Jazzfest.

Quint: That would be a great idea and I live in Austin, so it’s such a big music town…

Francis Ford Coppola: Do they like you recording their stuff when you go to hear the music?

Quint: I’ve never done the music thing. I only use this for work. It’s always been for interviews and stuff.

Francis Ford Coppola: It’s amazing what they are making.

Quint: My recorder before this was a little mini-tape recorder and the difference in the quality is night and day.

Francis Ford Coppola: You could record and make a movie with that.

Quint: Yeah, it’s almost like a little DAT. Well, congratulations guys on the movie. I saw it yesterday and I really liked it.

Francis Ford Coppola: In LA you saw it?

Quint: Yeah, I saw it here at the Wilshire Screening room.

Francis Ford Coppola: Oh, last night?

Quint: In the afternoon. I think they had a press screening. I thought it was great and I loved the photography. Was that digital?

Francis Ford Coppola: It’s digital.

Quint: What kind of camera was it?

Click here to read along with the next bit in Amazing Sound-O-Text!

Francis Ford Coppola: It’s the Sony 900, the same I used for YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH. It’s really now become the digital workhorse, but there’s lots more sophisticated stuff, but the bottom line with digital photography is it really comes down to the lens and the eye of the photographer. You can make gorgeous photography. You have to be fastidious, because you don’t have some of the forgiveness that other formats have, but if you have beautiful lenses and you have a talented, in this case, young cinematographer, who understands the camera, you can get beautiful results.

Quint: Did shooting black and white help as well?

Francis Ford Coppola: No, I think… You know, black and white is always more challenging because the lighting for black and white is more time consuming and you have to worry about “if this is gray (grabs his suit collar) and the wall is gray, how will the audience know the difference?” There’s a lot of more tricky lighting.

Quint: Let’s back up a little bit. I just wanted to talk a little bit about you, Alden, came into the picture. It’s weird saying this in front of you, but for people like us, people who grew up with your work, it must have been a little tense being up for the a lead in one of your pictures. Was there any intimidation there?



Alden Ehrenreich: I was more just excited to be able to work with somebody that I had admired and Francis was sort of one of the first film figures that I really loved when I started thinking about film more consciously and looking at films a little more analytically. When I was 12 I saw GODFATHER and read The Godfather, and was just obsessed with it. As I got older and saw APOCALYPSE NOW and RUMBLE FISH and THE CONVERSATION…

Quint: THE CONVERSATION is one of my all time favorite movies.

Click here to read along with the next bit in Amazing Sound-O-Text!

Alden Ehrenreich: Before I met him, I watched these clips and interviews and stuff with him and different things, so I would know what his demeanor was like and he’s such a warm personable person, that it wasn’t ever really intimidating. He really gives you a sense that you are meant to be there, no matter what you are doing, so it was always really wonderful and relaxed, surprisingly so, considering the iconoclast kind of thing.

Quint: What was the relationship like between you two, both in prep and in shooting?

Francis Ford Coppola: I like to have a chance for the actor to feel safe, because actors do a lot of things that they are frightened about. Even Brando… if they stall or they don’t want to go out to do it… He once looked at me and grinned and said “Well I get frightened, too,” because the actor has to put up or shut up and they don’t do it through a violin or something. They do it through their body or their soul, so that they are on the spot. I like to rehearse a couple of weeks and sort of say that “For two weeks we don’t have to worry about being bad or making mistakes, because it can’t be bad and you can’t make mistakes…”

Quint: “The pressure is off.”

Click here to read along with the next bit in Amazing Sound-O-Text!

Francis Ford Coppola: Yeah. “Let’s have two weeks and we are not shooting. Let’s have two weeks where we can come in and play all day.” Out of play a lot of good things come, because people are free to suggest things that they would be scared to suggest and those very often are the best things. So we had a rehearsal like that. We did very wacky things and nutty improvisations and stuff, but it was all… when the actors are there… one rule I have is they cant ever say “Well, my character would never have a bag like that.” They have to say “I would never have a bag like that.” I just make them be in the first person, because every minute that they are like that, they are exercising their character. We did that and by two weeks of course we started to see the lay of the land. They also felt comfortable to say “look at the last twenty pages of this script, I would never do that.” And then I would say “Well gee, then you would disappear from the movie if you weren’t like that.” So you were able to kind of put some thorny issues on the table. Usually the thorny issue with actors is that there’s a plot that’s sort of going towards a certain end and there are a lot of steps along the way that if the actor wouldn’t do that step, then you are not going to get to that end, then you have got to change the end and not going to have it be… I ran into that as a young filmmaker, where the actress would say “Well, I would never do that.” I said “Well, the character does.”

Quint: “The character has to or else we have no end to the movie.”

Francis Ford Coppola: And then you learn that there are many ways in the acting method that you learn to do substitutions to figure out ways to still get to that end, even though you don’t get there maybe through the same door.

Quint: A compromise.

Coppola: Or you make a swap. At any rate, that goes on during the rehearsal, so by then it’s pretty much established that people are not going to bite each other’s heads off, even though they get nervous, maybe, about certain scenes. Actors can be your greatest collaborators, because they know the characters really better than you do. At a certain point they cross over and the character sort of becomes them, so then it’s easy. Once that happens, you don’t have to tell them a lot how to do something, because they are going to do it in character. And that’s one thing you learn from Brando. Brando was great with that. He could be playing a scene and I always used to make the joke that a herd of buffalo could run through the room and he would go (in a Godfather voice) “Oh, look at the buffalo” in character. Nothing would be out of the ordinary. Alden Ehrenreich: And one of Francis’s greatest gifts that he gives to actors more, beyond just listening to their ideas and then saying “Oh, I wouldn’t do this or I wouldn’t do this” is being as attentive to just the natural dynamics between people and the dynamics between everybody, even between us and Francis and using that energy and harnessing it and infusing the story with that same energy, so that you don’t have to be the author of some kind of chemistry between two people, you can just coast on the same rhythms that you are already on and then when he says “Action,” it’s just staying true to that as opposed to “Now I’m acting.”

Quint: There’s an authenticity to it.

Alden Ehrenreich: Yeah, yeah.
Click here to read along with the next bit in Amazing Sound-O-Text!
Francis Ford Coppola: Yeah, the director more presides over things and a lot of times they are like “You really got that performance out of so and so” and I have never gotten a performance out of anyone. I would set the stage and put the props around knowing that “Oh, he’s going to reach for the cheese,” but I don’t… You know, they do it, you are just sort of like a ring master.

Quint: I noticed a lot of use of mirrors and reflections in the movie. That seemed to be a big visual element to this film. Was that something you knew from the get go? How did that develop?



Francis Ford Coppola: I experimented a lot with visual style in my career, in fact in my first career, every movie I did was a different… THE GODFATHER is one thing with a very classic style and in APOCALYPSE NOW the camera is flying all over the place. I did ONE FROM THE HEART, which was meant to be more like live TV and so forth and I always felt “Well, I’m just learning.” But now at my age, I sort of prefer a visual style where the camera doesn’t move. If you go to a regular movie and you watch the lower corner of the frame, you are going to see it’s always doing that (makes a rectangle with his fingers and moves it around) or the guy stands up and it goes like that (mimicking the camera tilting up). I chose in the last two pictures and I think now for all of my films to have a much more where the frame is the frame and if you go out of the frame, the camera doesn’t go with you, then another shot picks you up, so that’s like a way to structure a scene that I now feel, for a lot of reasons, is more beautiful. For one I get sea sick when I see a lot of camera work today, because the camera is moving unnecessarily to give you a kind of dynamism… I don’t know why it’s a style. Also the more the camera moves in relation to the actors, the less the actors are moving, because if the famous shot of if the train is leaving and if the guy is running after his girlfriend and the camera is going, if you look at it, the train is not going to be leaving! The decision to do that means that inevitably I was shooting that part of the room, so by having a mirror and some guy was entering here, then the guy would enter and you would see him in the mirror, so the mirror sort of worked, or the reflection, worked hand in hand with the idea of the camera not moving around. Normally you would have a shot like that and the camera would pan over to there, but if I wasn’t going to do that…

Quint: Yeah, you almost got your reverse shot in the same shot.

Francis Ford Coppola: In the mirrors… We didn’t intend to do that, but as we built these frames… The operator wasn’t even on the camera, the camera was tied off, so the fact that there were reflections kind of, without moving the camera, enlarged the field of view.

Quint: Well, I thought it was really interesting that you incorporated that as well, because you have that whole subplot where Alden’s character is going through his brother’s notes and you are having to use the mirror to decipher them essentially.

Click here to read along with the next bit in Amazing Sound-O-Text!

Francis Ford Coppola: I’m sure you figured out by now that a lot of things that authors do or filmmakers do, they don’t know they are doing. The example that always struck me was in THE GODFATHER there’s a kind of orange symbolism, guys are always lifting up an orange and the truth of the matter is I didn’t know that I was doing that other than an orange citrus made me think of Sicily and there were usually some oranges on the set. So I would say “Okay, take an orange” or “Bring him an orange, it comes from Miami” so a lot of times you are doing things that feel right for you to do them, but you don’t know all of the levels of significance that might be in you subconsciously or just your choice implies more interpretation.

Quint: Or even just happy accidents.

Francis Ford Coppola: Often happy accidents, but that happens in literature all of the time. The critic’s job is to illuminate what’s going on beyond what the filmmaker knows, so you learn. But I know some very heavy things people have said to me, even about this film. One guy said to me “You knew Jim Morrison at UCLA and to what extent is TETRO based on Morrison, who had an extremely tough relationship with a big father who was an admiral” and I thought “God, I’ve never thought of that, but it’s true.” Who knows? In life you just pick (things) up and you don’t know what you are doing.

Quint: Well there’s also the parallels where the father character is a composer and your father was a composer and stuff like that.

Francis Ford Coppola: The father is a conductor and he is like a von Karajan, a Fritz Reiner, he’s a prima donna. My father was, through my life as a kid in his house, my father was a very frustrated flutist who had a big talent and wanted to be Gershwin and wanted to be these guys, but we lived in a house with a man who was not getting his break and anyone who has done that knows that the kids really feel the father’s… Fortunately my father got his big break through THE GODFATHER and so in some way I was able to be helpful to him, but he wasn’t like at the top like that guy who was world famous.

Quint: I’m sure you knew you were kind of inviting parallels there.

Francis Ford Coppola: Yeah, no. It’s true and of course music and having music and knowing who Brahms was… One of my father’s greatest things was he really knew music well and you could as him any question about any composer and he would explain to you. Even having lost him now since 1981, all of a sudden I just want to call my father up and ask him a question about “Well, who is really greater? Wagner or Verdi?” I don’t have that anymore, but there are elements of my father in that character, but my father was not such a world important man as that guy is.

Quint: And he never stole your girlfriend?

Francis Ford Coppola: He didn’t. (laughs)

Quint: Alright, I think they are breaking us up. I really appreciate the time.



Gotta love any conversation where the interviewee can just throw down Marlon Brando stories at the drop of a hat. I could have spent hours talking with Coppola about his previous films, especially THE CONVERSATION, which I mentioned as being one of my all time favorite films. I rewatched it in the days before leaving LA and that movie is fucking scary. It’s a horror show. Gene Hackman is so damn good in it… My apologies to Alden Ehrenreich for not lobbing more questions in his direction. He’s great in the film, looking like a GILBERT GRAPE-era DiCaprio and bringing just as much talent to the role as DiCaprio did with that picture. It’s a helluva debut and I’m sure we’ll be seeing much more of him in the future. TETRO opens in limited release today. Hope you guys dug the chat! Look for my interview with the director and star of another great indie flick opening in limited release today called MOON. That should hit sometime this afternoon… Oh, and I also picked a winner in the MondoTees Tyler Stout RoboCop contest! See you folks soon with that stuff! -Quint quint@aintitcool.com Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
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  • June 12, 2009, 6:17 a.m. CST

    FIRST!

    by JIMBOCOP

    ?

  • June 12, 2009, 6:18 a.m. CST

    13 years since he made a great movie.

    by ev1ldead

    This better be good.

  • June 12, 2009, 6:19 a.m. CST

    by JIMBOCOP

    Woot! Anyway, I digress. Anyone listen to the Director's commentary on Bram Stoker's Dracula? I've never heard a man so pissed off with the industry as FFC. Such a shame, because, my God, he can make movies when he tries...

  • June 12, 2009, 6:20 a.m. CST

    I meant 17 years of course.

    by ev1ldead

    13 years ago was Jack. urgs.

  • June 12, 2009, 6:29 a.m. CST

    Such a great talent and a giant of a filmaker

    by southafricanguy

    in the 1970s imho. Man I miss the old Coppola, last really awsome film for me was Dracula, saw that as a kid and it freaked the shit out of me. Too bad he ended up having to make things like Jack and the rainmaker (wich isn t bad imho..) in order to make money after his production company went bankrupt. Its also a pity that the man will never be given a big budget ever again, so we will never see Megalopolis I guess...Cmon Lucas, how about you use your millions to bankroll Coppola for his pet sci-fi project? Even if it bombed it would nt be much of a loss to you...lol

  • June 12, 2009, 6:39 a.m. CST

    I love Vogner.

    by CoursinLarry

    Hate to be an ass, but it's Wagner. It just sounds like "Vogner". So there you go, Whoever-Transcribed-This-Interview. You learn something new every day.

  • June 12, 2009, 6:46 a.m. CST

    Seasickness

    by WriteFromLeft

    Thank you, Francis Ford Coppola, for using a tripod. I stopped going to movies because of the overuse of the handheld camera. Take "The Pursuit of Happyness," for example. The film is so wrong stylistically, with its palsy-cam photography, shot with a telephoto lens from across the room, a technique that makes simple dialogue scenes in office buildings look like they're transpiring during major earthquakes. It doesn't make any sense. And it makes me motion sick.

  • June 12, 2009, 7:09 a.m. CST

    Oh....i forgot to mention Tucker, really good

    by southafricanguy

    and damn underrated movie in my opinion....

  • June 12, 2009, 7:28 a.m. CST

    SCROTUM FEVER

    by MelvintheMopBoy

    Its sweeping the nation!

  • June 12, 2009, 7:38 a.m. CST

    Quint, the time is nigh.

    by seppukudkurosawa

    to stage your AICN coup d'état!<p> After this interview, this site is yours for the taking.

  • June 12, 2009, 7:43 a.m. CST

    hoping he learnt something from Youth Without Youth

    by quantize

    because that was excruciatingly self indulgent drivel...which is so depressing to have come from the man who gave us The Conversation, Godfather and Apocalypse Now..and even that pretty good Dracula

  • June 12, 2009, 7:52 a.m. CST

    The Conversation

    by I am_NOTREAL

    I also watched this not too long ago, and it is a great film. Despite its critical success (I think it was nominated for Best Picture), it still feels somewhat lost in Coppola's filmography behind the glare of the first two Godfathers. If you have not seen The Conversation, do yourself a favor and check it out. I can almost guarantee you'll love it. Great work by Hackman on one of the great characters from the 70s, right up there with his Popeye Doyle (though in a very different way).

  • June 12, 2009, 7:54 a.m. CST

    he had a great interview on howard stern last week

    by palewook

    come off as an easy going guy with a sense of humor. not how you expect one of the greatest modern directors.

  • June 12, 2009, 8:59 a.m. CST

    In the early 90's, I dreamed of a Coppola directed Bat-flick.

    by JDanielP

    Bring on the Batman, some day?

  • June 12, 2009, 9 a.m. CST

    Adam Corolla & FFC

    by Yabels

    No, not the FCC, The F.C.C. He also had a great interview with him. His press junkette must be as big as his gut.

  • June 12, 2009, 10:17 a.m. CST

    That was a great read

    by buffywrestling

    Loved that shout out to the 900 and gave Directing Tips 101. Getting a director to talk about the process is just as interesting to me as getting him talking about his latest work.

  • June 12, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    BTW, maybe I'm in the minority

    by I am_NOTREAL

    But I do think that the "redux" part of "Apocalypse Now Redux" weakens rather than strengthens the film. Even if it was only cut from the theatrical release to make time, I wish it had stayed out. It's a better movie without it.

  • June 12, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST

    So, Coppola probably hated Abrams' STAR TREK then

    by YackBacker

    All that camera jostling- the man's got a point. Sure, action movies require dynamism but there is such a thing as too much energy. Quint, congrats on interviewing a living legend. Good job.

  • June 12, 2009, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Great interview... but

    by Ben

    with such a limited time, and Coppola's tendancy to ramble, you should have cut him short just to get more questions in there... although this is a demi-god so you're forgiven

  • June 12, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    It's Verdi, you ignoramus!

    by j_difool

    Giuseppe Verde? As in, Cobra Verde? Yeah, I do hope these fuck-ups (someone mentioned an earlier gaffe, now corrected, of "Vogner"!) are the result of some 12 year-old kid brother transcriber. Even then I'd hope for better. If someone is going to be conducting interviews with cultural luminaries like Coppola, shouldn't they at least be culturally literate? This is but one reason why internet journalism is scorned. Hi, I'm in my 20s and I has access to internet! That makes me a writer!

  • June 12, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    filmkiwi...

    by Blue_Demon

    Yeah, the interview was too short, but I love to hear Coppola ramble. I loved his "Dracula" commentary.<p>He seems to be re-energized by working with young actors. I hope "Tetro" makes it to my neck of the woods.

  • June 12, 2009, 11:49 a.m. CST

    Francis....I've wanted to fuck your daughter for 12 years!

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

    And you're one of my favorite filmmakers. Thank you for all you have done.

  • June 12, 2009, 12:21 p.m. CST

    Mr. Coppola, Do You Accept Scripts?

    by Media Messiah

    Just asking, you never know?

  • June 12, 2009, 12:23 p.m. CST

    Great Job Quint

    by Broseph

    I loved The Interveiw but it was way to short.i'll see this on dvd or cable

  • June 12, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Coppola Has Supported A Convicted Pedophile

    by MANNZILLA

    He produced Victor Salva's clownhose where Salva was convicted of sexually assaulting a young kid and remains unrepentant about it. He continued to produce Salva's movie's afer that. I used to respect Coppola but he chose to back a disgusting creep and the box office take instead of making a moral stand. Unforgivable.

  • June 12, 2009, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Victor Salva pled guilty and served 15 months.

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

    What about those that defend Polanski? Now those are your fucking scumbags.

  • June 12, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    MM: Send your script to Quint!

    by buffywrestling

    Then the next time he sits down with Coppola, he can pass it on.

  • June 12, 2009, 12:48 p.m. CST

    15 months is a drop in the bucket

    by MANNZILLA

    He should have served way longer than that for fucking a kid up for the rest of his life. How would you feel if that creep molested you. Whether or not Salva has paid his debt to society is not the point. It's the people around him that have gone on record minimalizing what the man has done. Look up for yourself the stuff Coppola and his producers have said. It's terrible.

  • June 12, 2009, 12:55 p.m. CST

    I'm not saying thats fair time.

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

    I think anyone who harms a child should be put to death personally. I'm saying he pled guilty, served his time and hasn't repeated the offense as far as we know. But how people defend Polanski, blows my fucking mind. <p>I will look up the Francis quotes.

  • June 12, 2009, 1:02 p.m. CST

    The Conversation

    by Tin Snoman

    is Coppola's best film. Which is saying a lot. <p>Also, I agree with southafricanguy, Lucas should be bankrolling his pal on Megalopolis or whatever he wants to do.

  • June 12, 2009, 1:09 p.m. CST

    Agreed on Megalopolis....

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

    ...but I think Francis is too prideful to take a hand out from George.

  • June 12, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Polanski is a master film maker but

    by Samuel Fulmer

    A terrible human being. Unlike John Landis who is a hack film maker, and a terrible human being.

  • June 12, 2009, 1:15 p.m. CST

    Youth Without Youth was good

    by Samuel Fulmer

    I guess I'm the only one who thinks that.

  • June 12, 2009, 1:28 p.m. CST

    DickBlood

    by MANNZILLA

    I hear what your saying, and I appreciate you having an open mind. Sometimes we dont want to admit our idols like coppola have flaws

  • June 12, 2009, 1:40 p.m. CST

    For real reviews

    by joblessfilmreviews

    Download the best film podcast around joblessfilmreviews.podomatic.com

  • June 12, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Shaky-cam

    by Mazzer

    Yeah, it's so good to hear one of the greats slag off the annoying shaky-cam trend that we're having to endure these days. You tell 'em, FFC!

  • June 12, 2009, 4:16 p.m. CST

    DGDB....Copulating with Coppola....

    by conspiracy

    but only for 12 years? I've had a Fapon for Sophia Coppola since she appeared in that Black Crows video. The junkie/hooker look suits her.

  • June 12, 2009, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Sofia....if you're reading this, I CAN and WILL impregnate you..

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

    ...on the first try. Not like that spineless pussy Spike Jonze, who can't keep his dick hard unless stuffed animals and skateboards are involved. <p>I'm the real deal. And I aim to fuck.

  • June 12, 2009, 4:28 p.m. CST

    Coppola + Megalopolis

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Coppola has said the moment has passed for that project. He was quoted as saying that it dealt heavily with New York and a lot of what he planned to do would be impossible post-9/11.

  • June 12, 2009, 4:34 p.m. CST

    Landis followed up the Twilight Zone disaster with

    by reflecto

    a film where two kids are shown on TV cowering from the sound of a helicopter above them. He's all class. That man WANTS to be put away.

  • June 12, 2009, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Ok, as I read this, it's still "Verde"

    by Rhuragh

    Instead of Verdi, as in Giuseppe Verdi. But seriously, they had it written as "Vogner"? You must be joking.

  • June 12, 2009, 6:03 p.m. CST

    Apocalypse Now

    by Prossor

    Just for that movie alone Coppola is one of the best filmmakers of all time.

  • June 12, 2009, 6:23 p.m. CST

    BRAM STOKERS DRACULA

    by Logan_1973

    One of the best movies ever made. Thanks, Francis.

  • June 12, 2009, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Agreed. BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA = MASTERPIECE

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

  • June 12, 2009, 8:57 p.m. CST

    the problem with some brilliant film makers is..

    by iwasredempted

    that they end up going on a self indulgent kick. a good example is coppola and david lynch. i personally have no problem with artists pursuing some personal vision but i sure wish lynch would make some more straight up studio films because he is such a talent. elephant man is probably his most commercial endeavor. some times the audience such as myself would like to just enjoy a good commercial movie. like rainmaker or bram stokers dracula.<br>departed for example is a very commercial effort from scorsese and i enjoyed the hell out of it. rainmaker is a very enjoyable movie.

  • June 12, 2009, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Was that guy in the photos Quint?

    by odo19

    I thought he was some fat scruffy guy.

  • June 12, 2009, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Pan and Scan made me woozy

    by CherryValance

    I'm glad to never see it again.</p> <p>I listened to the Rumble Fish commentary recently and I couldn't stop cracking up. It's like he has no idea he's Francis Ford Coppola. This interview comes across the same way. Like someone's nice dad who'll drop you home after band practice. :) Not a legendary filmmaker at all. You could tell listening to that commentary that he'd be making more personal movies. Sounds like it is. </p>

  • June 12, 2009, 11:22 p.m. CST

    "Looks like a Gilbert-Grape era Dicaprio"

    by Verbage

    In other words he's saying he looks like a retard.

  • June 13, 2009, 2:32 a.m. CST

    Buffywrestling: That Sounds Like A Good Idea

    by Media Messiah

    Thank you for that...Buffy!!!

  • June 13, 2009, 2:34 a.m. CST

    Quint you are a lucky bastard...

    by sonnyfern

    Coppola... damn man.

  • June 13, 2009, 3:39 a.m. CST

    The guy in the photos isn't Quint

    by seppukudkurosawa

    That's Alden Ehrenreich. To see a few pics of Quint, just put Eric Vespe into a Google Image search.

  • June 13, 2009, 3:44 a.m. CST

    Coppola flew too close to the sun

    by alucardvsdracula

    The man is a genius film maker and is probably one of the greatest to ever walk the earth. He OWNED the 70's along with William Friedkin, and just like that equally amazing mad bastard, by the end of that decade they had risen so high that they simply ran out of oxygen. Leaving Friedkin to one side, Coppola's astonishing innings of Godfather's 1 & 2 and Conversation HAD to come to an end with Apocalypse Now. NOBODY could survive making that movie, it wasn't just a movie it was Coppola's heart and soul ripped out and stitched onto celluloid. As interesting and brilliant as his subsequent works are, he would never reach such heights again. But no man could. One from the Heart once more showed that he was equal to none and once again was prepared to gamble everything to bring this astonishing vision to the screen. My two personal favourite 80's movies came next with the Outsiders and Rumble Fish, one classical and romantic the other experimental and beguiling. The Cotten Club was a near miss masterpiece, worthy but the first of his films that left me cold. However I couldn't help but fall in love with the soppy and silly Peggy Sue Got Married. Sure it aped Back to the Future but I didn't mind one bit. I kind of side stepped Gardens of Stone and Tucker to get to Godfather 3 and by that time I was wondering if the financial and emotional losses he'd had in the 80's had finally taken their toll. Godfather 3 SHOULD have been a crowning moment, it SHOULD have been equal to those two movies but it wasn't. I was depressed after coming out the cinema; sure it had great moments, Andy Garcia stole the show, when he was allowed to, but it just lacked a pulse. I immediately went home and watched the entire Godfather Epic VHS box set to help me get over my sadness. A couple of years later I heard he was attempting to finally nail a proper Dracula movie and pay respect to Stoker. Now as you might suspect I am a bit of a Drac freak so the idea of Coppola taking on Stoker made me giddy. I was shaking when I went into the cinema that Winter evening, already feverish after picking up Mike Mignola's amazing comic adaptation, movie tie in magazines, soundtrack and that cool as fuck one sheet poster which now hung proudly from my bedroom wall. The film I'd hoped for didn't materialize. It WASN'T THE BOOK, sure the story and dialogue was there, sort of, but the feel, the tone, the haunting, decaying gothic sexuality wasn't. The film impressed me, after all how could it not, but all throughout it felt contrived, forced and limited by its studio bound staginess. It is of course a personal thing as all movies are, but I felt, and after reading countless interviews with Coppola and crew it just got away from them, a bit like Keanu's accent. I've learnt to respect the film over the years but it's not the film it could have been. Moving on, The Rainmaker was merely a good way of forgetting that he'd even attempt to make a movie like Jack, the worst film of that year and of his career. I haven't yet seen Youth without Youth or Tetro but will. I still live in hope that he'll be able to deliver one final masterpiece with Metropolis, but even if he does it doesn't matter since he's already made some of the finest American films ever and he will remain a legend. Good interview by the way Quint.

  • June 13, 2009, 4:03 a.m. CST

    Most filmmakers would give both of their testicles

    by Prossor

    Just to have done 1 of Coppola's 70s movies. And just content with a lone shlong and an extra enlarged taint area.

  • June 13, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Polanski...Woody Allen...blah blah blah

    by quantize

    really ..the idea that great artists MUST be great human beings is fundamentally retarded..the world is not so simple people. It's the cult of celebrity that deludes everyone into thinking we actually know them at all.

  • June 13, 2009, 7:54 a.m. CST

    Samuel Fulmer

    by quantize

    yes you are. Youth without Youth was self indulgent mumbo jumbo of the gigantic jelly monster variety.

  • June 13, 2009, 8:13 a.m. CST

    Polanski

    by Bladernner79

    I'm not a big fan off his but I'm fucking tired of this whole idea of him being a rapist. lets get the facts straight, this so called "little girl" was a model who partied all the time and was delivered to jack Nicholson's house by her mommy for a photo shoot, this wasn't an innocent kid who was pulled off the streets by a horny perverted foreigner. she was know to be having sex with much older men and did drugs also, if anything the real issue was bad judgment by Polanski

  • June 13, 2009, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Okay. You guys defend drugging a child....

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

    ....and fucking her in her ass. Thats cool. I'll stay on this side of the street. Hope you don't have a daughter. Because lets face it, if she's a party girl into older men-- its cool to fuck dudes 4 times her age, right? <P>No one sayd we knew them or that they should be good people. I just will not contribute a cent financial to some dude that fucks children in their ass and flees like a fucking coward. If he did the time like a man. Fine. But Polanski is a chicken shit coward.

  • June 13, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST

    So what

    by Bladernner79

    Where do you think these women who become porn stars come from? i know people don't like to believe this but some girls are porn little whores and will grow up being whores, this whole innocent little girl shit is bull. when you see some chick in a porn taking two dicks in her ass nones forcing her she wants to.

  • June 13, 2009, 2:06 p.m. CST

    I want to see Tetro and Youth without Youth was brilliant

    by picardsucks

  • June 13, 2009, 7:25 p.m. CST

    why are people bringing up Woody Allen again?

    by Six Demon Bag

    what the fuck did he do?

  • June 13, 2009, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Sophia Coppola

    by Lashlarue

    I'm actually more interested in her next film more than her dad's. <p> "I think I swallowed a bug."

  • June 13, 2009, 9:27 p.m. CST

    Shaky cam smackdown...

    by SK229

    I fucking HATE that shit. I just watched an indie called Baghead, which actually had good acting, a good script (except for the ending), and decent lighting, but the CAMERA WORK WAS NEARLY UNWATCHABLE. It played Sundance... my god, I couldn't imagine watching that thing on something bigger than my plasma. These self-conscious zooms in and out, everything being in a tight CU that wonders around, in and out of focus. Drive down to wal-mart and BUY A FUCKING TRIPOD. Seriously. When Hollywood movies do it it's even worse... J.J. Abrams is the KING of that shit. What's sad is that if your'e an up and coming filmmaker and you have ANY sense of mis en scene and shot composition, YOU ARE FUCKED. You better be content with showing your films to your friends and relatives, because mumblecore has mostly taken over many of the major festivals. That and docs about the Iraqi war. In this day and age, Following, Primer, Pi, etc., would be tossed into the trash for actually being well made. Rant over...

  • June 13, 2009, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Doesn't matter that she was a skank

    by Prossor

    How does it make it better she was a skank too? So she was into parties, yes she was a dumb bitch too, but if she so willfully loved the aged cock why did she have to be drugged?

  • June 14, 2009, 12:39 a.m. CST

    That little girl is probably about 50 years old now

    by Verbage

    And has probably willingly had her ass fucked numerous times since then.

  • June 14, 2009, 3:33 a.m. CST

    For the record

    by Continentalop

    Polanski blew it. I don't anyone here, even DGDB, would hold it against Polanski for what he did to that girl he had accepted his sentence and/or came back to face the music. Public sympathy would be on his side - I can easily see myself passing off the act as part of the trauma of him losing his wife and unborn baby to the Manson Family. <p> However, by fleeing and unwilling to accept responsibility, that is what taints Polanski. <p> Man survived the holocaust, lost his family, lost his wife and unborn baby to murders - I am willing to believe he would have been forgiven for his crimes by us and the public if he just accepted the punishment. <p> Oh, and blaming the victim is so 1940s and 50s guys. I don't care if she blew 20 guys before Polanski, he shouldn't have drugged her and anally raped her.

  • June 14, 2009, 3:42 a.m. CST

    As for Victor Salva

    by Continentalop

    The guy did his time. It is not up to us to decide how to continue to punish someone after he paid his debt to society - even if that debt seems inadequate. You don't want to hang out with him or support his films, fine, but don't hold it against others for being willing to give him another chance. <p> HOWEVER, I will say if I was Coppola I would be less than willing to help him after seeing Powder and Jeeper Creeper 2. It is hard for me to think that you are a reformed sex offender when I see some many shots of young teenage men topless and posed in such homo erotic posses. <p> It would be like if John Hinckley, Jr. was released and you decided to give him a chance and let him direct a movie, and he insisted in casting Jodie Foster look-a-likes in the thing and the main character shooting politicians to gain her love. I think that might alarm you a little.

  • June 14, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Bladernerr...

    by Disco_sucks

    ...Polanski was in a position of power in hollywood and he used it to get her mother to leave her thirteen year old daughter alone with him at his house, for a 'private' photoshoot. He plied her with champagne and quaaludes til she didn't know what was going on and then fucked her in the arse. You want to defend that, go for it dickhead. As for Coppola, I'll second that his early 80's output doesn't get the rep it deserves. One From The Heart is still one of the greatest visual and aural films ever released (even if the plot and acting is dull at best) and Rumble Fish is a masterpiece.

  • June 14, 2009, 8:26 a.m. CST

    Polanski is vilified....

    by Verbage

    ...not because he fucked a 13 year old girl in the ass at a Hollywood party after spiking her drink with quaaludes. He's vilified because he got caught. How many underage girls do you think have been fucked in the ass by Hollywood directors and producers over the years? If you want to boycott films made by people who fucked underage girls or boys in the ass, you're not going to be watching films. The casting couch is stained with the rectal blood and vaginal fluids of countless underage girls and boys.

  • June 14, 2009, 8:33 a.m. CST

    I couldn't agree more SK229

    by alienindisguise

    Shaky cam is just a poor attempt at trying to hide a lack of real visual talent. It's the hackiest of filmmaking techniques and should be punished, not rewarded..I'm looking your way Michael gay Bay.

  • June 15, 2009, 12:41 a.m. CST

    ZOM-BOT GOT BANNED FOR SAYING www.NukeTheFridge.COM

    by hugejack21

    look http://tinyurl.com/kktw3a

  • June 15, 2009, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Anyone see Tetro yet?

    by picardsucks

  • June 15, 2009, 9:09 p.m. CST

    "Drive down to wal-mart and BUY A FUCKING TRIPOD."

    by Prossor

    I hate shakeycam with a passion. Even action scenes, the Bourne movies and now the current Bond movies which are slowly turning into Lifetime soap operas are employing the shakeycam. It's like they have the cams on yo-yo strings and flinging them around.

  • June 16, 2009, 1:14 a.m. CST

    I saw Tetro the other night. Its pretty damn good....

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

    ...though the ending blows cock in my opinion. Most of the film is a fantastic quirky drama. In the end it suddenly takes a hard right into operatic soap opera. Very weird. But I'm still trying to process the whole thing. Its a lot to absord, and I'm not entirely sure how much I liked it. <p>The acting is aces across the board. Except for one stupid character. This notorious critic known as "Alone." Just stupid. Shitty character and shitty acting. Didn't understand the reason she needed to exist.

  • June 16, 2009, 1:40 a.m. CST

    I prefer my directors rape adults

    by Toilet_Terror

    like normal people do

  • June 16, 2009, 1:40 a.m. CST

    I mean normal rapists

    by Toilet_Terror

  • June 16, 2009, 7:18 a.m. CST

    Cheers for the very good interview Quint

    by zapano

    I'm delighted Coppola is making more personal films. I can't wait to see Tetro. <p> He is a true giant of cinema and the capo dei capi of the movie brats. He's one of the principle figures that helped bring about the great renaissance in american film making in the 1970s. <p> He's been cursed by the Godfather's success in much the same way as Orson Welles was cursed by Citizen Kane's success. He may not reach the unsurpassable heights of the Godfather, but that doesn't mean his films are worthy of people's attention and praise. He should be commended for the path he's taken and you've got to admire how open he was in his criticism of Lucas and of actors like De Niro. They should be following his example.

  • June 16, 2009, 1:51 p.m. CST

    idiots here

    by Wee Willie

    only on AICN can a discussion about Francis Coppola, one of the most influential American filmmakers turn into an argument about Vicotr Salva, Roman Polanski, and (oddly) Woody Allen. P.S. News flash, people, all famous people are assholes. Some are just less assholish than others.

  • June 16, 2009, 4:04 p.m. CST

    Great interview!

    by Count3D

    Good questions, considering you only had 20 minutes. It was a nice bonus to also be able to hear answers in Coppola's own voice. Thanks, Quint!

  • June 16, 2009, 5:43 p.m. CST

    I agree - thanks Quint

    by Toilet_Terror

    I enjoy the audio bits as well.

  • June 16, 2009, 9:35 p.m. CST

    wee willie

    by Prossor

    perhaps you don't know the culture of AICN, one guy mentions a foible of the article's subject and the rest of the tb is a slippery slope to shitville.

  • June 16, 2009, 10:24 p.m. CST

    Prossor -- oh you fucking love it.

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

  • June 17, 2009, 2:50 a.m. CST

    I do, oh help me i do

    by Prossor

    Like Robert Duvall geting high off Napalm breeze or Patton getting a boner on that battlefield, even if i have to take both sides to prolonging it, i love it! Dont you??

  • June 17, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Godfather 1 is still the greatest movie

    by romanocc

    The movie is a masterpiece, great story, great cast, great one-liners, epic scale, and one of the greatest endings in movies. Brando, Pacino, Duvall, Cazale, Caan, Shire, unbelievable.

  • June 18, 2009, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Francis Ford Coppola is very cool, but ...

    by NoDiggity

    DRAG ME TO HELL is still in theaters. Why isn't everyone going?<br><br> http://www.aintitcool.com/talkback_display/40453

  • June 18, 2009, 4:18 p.m. CST

    Quint.....why didn't you do a full on review of this? Embargo?

    by DANNYGLOVERS_DICKBLOOD

  • June 19, 2009, 11:13 p.m. CST

    I wish people would reccomend Drag Me To Hell...

    by Toilet_Terror

    to people who haven't actually seen it. Seriously, who here hasn't already seen it? This shit gets on my nerves. <p> I personally found the film disapointing. It's not Raimi's worst, but it's no Darkman.

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