Francis Ford Coppola: A Filmmaker's Life

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9780609806777: Francis Ford Coppola: A Filmmaker's Life

Francis Ford Coppola: A Filmmaker’s Life is the first complete picture of the internationally renowned and controversial cinematic genius who directed such films as the Godfather trilogy, Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, and dozens more -- some wildly successful, some utterly disastrous. He is Hollywood’s perennial outsider, admired and respected for his courage and individualism, but still criticized for being a gambler in a business where success is measured by box-office receipts.

Michael Schumacher tells the entire history of this masterful filmmaker. Coppola reveals for the first time:
* The whole story of his early years, including his “skin flick,” his slasher movie, and his years with Roger Corman.
* The reason behind the most controversial casting decision of his career: putting his daughter, Sofia, in The
Godfather, Part III.
* The impact of the loss of his son, Gio, on his work and his life.

With unprecedented access to Coppola’s friends, critics, peers, casts, and crews, Schumacher creates an irresistible read, showing all the aspects of one of the most complex, conflicted filmmakers of our time.

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Review:

The terrible fact about Francis Ford Coppola's career is that it will always be divided evenly in half, down a line called Apocalypse Now. Before that film is prodigious promise--an Academy Award for writing Patton, two uncannily fine Godfather movies, and the Antonioni-esque smallness of The Conversation. After, there is telescoping debt, talk of reinventing the studios, and multiple, hollow exercises in style. If that's a tough assessment, it's one borne out by this thick, fair biography. The author, Michael Schumacher, who has previously published books on Allen Ginsberg and Eric Clapton, makes much of Coppola's boyhood spell of polio, from which he emerged miraculously healthy and movie-mad. He orchestrated his life thereafter with a consequent mania, as though making up for lost time. While still in film school, he sold screenplays and made Z-budget drive-in movies for Roger Corman. In two years, he wrote 12 scripts for 7 Arts, and in the mid-1960s started a family, made You're a Big Boy Now and Finian's Rainbow, pushed George Lucas to write THX1138, founded American Zoetrope, and took a job, purely for the money, directing The Godfather. The chapters on Apocalypse Now are the book's highlights, and without saying as much they explain the spent quality at the core of Coppola's films in the next two decades. After hurricanes in Manila, Marlon Brando, and the ungodly beauty of those helicopters at dawn, whose career wouldn't wing straight to twilight? --Lyall Bush

From the Back Cover:

“Schumacher has executed a book that’s wall-to-wall action.”
-- San Francisco Chronicle

“Schumacher’s book is a treat.”
-- Tampa Tribune

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Michael Schumacher
Editorial: Three Rivers Press (CA) (2001)
ISBN 10: 0609806777 ISBN 13: 9780609806777
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Schumacher, Michael
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