More than any other director, Francis Ford Coppola exemplifies the drive and invention of modern American cinema. Acclaimed since his first Godfather movie in 1972, he went on to win the Palme d'Or at Cannes for The Conversation and to make an unforgettable impact on audiences worldwide with the gripping Vietnam War epic Apocalypse Now. He has also launched the careers of such actors as Nicolas Cage and Tom Cruise. In recent years, Coppola has returned to his roots – to the low-budget, personal movie, written and directed without the involvement of the major Hollywood studios, working in Romania (for¦Youth without Youth), Argentina (for Tetro), and his home state of California (for Twixt). Additionally, he has encouraged the work of other talented filmmakers – from his daughter Sofia (Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette) to Brazilian director Walter Salles (On the Road) to Robert De Niro (The Good Shepherd). In 2010, he was awarded his sixth Oscar – the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. The tireless Coppola is also committed to winemaking, earning acclaim for his Niebaum-Coppola range and opening a second winery in the Sonoma Valley. Talking exclusively to Peter Cowie for the updated edition of this biography, Coppola looks back on the past 20 years and reflects on his much-cherished independence, as well as on the state of modern cinema.
by Peter Cowie
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