Francis Ford Coppola

Francis Ford Coppola

Jeff Menne
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 176
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/j.ctt6wr59j
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  • Book Info
    Francis Ford Coppola
    Book Description:

    Acclaimed as one of the most influential and innovative American directors, Francis Ford Coppola is also lionized as a maverick auteur at war with Hollywood's power structure and an ardent critic of the postindustrial corporate America it reflects. However, Jeff Menne argues that Coppola exemplifies the new breed of creative corporate person and sees the director's oeuvre as vital for reimagining the corporation in the transformation of Hollywood. Reading auteur theory as the new American business theory, Menne reveals how Coppola's vision of a new kind of company has transformed the worker into a liberated and well-utilized artist, but has also commodified individual creativity at a level unprecedented in corporate history. Coppola negotiated the contradictory roles of shrewd businessman and creative artist by recognizing the two roles are fused in a postindustrial economy. Analyzing films like The Godfather (1970) and the overlooked Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) through Coppola's use of opera, Menne illustrates how Coppola developed a defining musical aesthetic while making films that reflected the idea of a corporation as family--and how his studio American Zoetrope came to represent a new brand of auteurism and the model for post-Fordist Hollywood.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09678-5
    Subjects: History, Film Studies

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Francis Ford Coppola and the Underground Corporation
    (pp. 1-122)

    Because in most accounts Francis Ford Coppola is a governing force behind the New Hollywood, it seems that people can’t help referring to him as the “Godfather,” whether it’s to recognize his patronage (his associate John Korty calls him “the impresario, essentially the Godfather”), or the network formed around him (Steven Bach calls Coppola, George Lucas, Walter Murch, and others the “Mill Valley Mafia”), or even his personal manner (aVanity Fairprofile likened him to one of his onscreen Mafia dons).¹ The term suggests itself, such is the strong identity in the public mind between him and his famous...

  5. Interview with Francis Ford Coppola
    (pp. 123-128)
    Francis Ford Coppola and JEFF MENNE

    This interview was conducted by e-mail in December 2013.

    Jeff menne: The party line on you has been that you were too much an artist to be a good businessperson. But it seems history will tell a different story—that is, that you have been responsible for creating different business models perhaps more than any other filmmaker in your generation. Do you think your artistic sense has opposed your business sense, or has it complemented it?

    Francis ford coppola: I always had good entrepreneurial instincts, even while a student in college; setting up and running the student drama organization and...

  6. Filmography
    (pp. 129-140)
  7. Bibliography
    (pp. 141-144)
  8. Index
    (pp. 145-148)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 149-156)