ART AND FILM: A Cool and Provocative Interview with Francis Ford Coppola

Interesting interview here with famed director Francis Ford Coppola. An excerpt:

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve given to your children, inside and outside of the industry?

Always make your work be personal.

And, you never have to lie. If you lie, you will only trip yourself up. You will always get caught in a lie. It is very important for an artist not to lie, and most important is not to lie to yourself. There are some questions that are inappropriate to ask, and rather than lie, I will not answer them because it’s not a question I accept. So many times we are asked things in our work or in life that you want to lie, and all you have to do is say, “No, that is an improper question.”

So when you get into a habit of not lying when you are writing, directing, or making a film, that will carry your personal conviction into your work. And, in a society where you say you are very free but you’re not entirely free, you have to try. There is something we know that’s connected with beauty and truth. There is something ancient. We know that art is about beauty, and therefore it has to be about truth.

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2 Responses to “ART AND FILM: A Cool and Provocative Interview with Francis Ford Coppola”

  1. AndreaCee says:

    Hey Petey –

    LOVED the Coppola interview even though I have absolutely nothing to do with the film industry. There is a ton of great stuff in there that applies to business, art and an approach to life in general. It was fantastic when he said, to paraphrase, feel free to borrow whatever you want from my work because YOU CAN’T STEAL FROM ME. He saw the borrowing as the root of the creation of a brand new work of art and a chance to become immortal in the process. I really have no idea what kind of a human being Coppola is, but I think it speaks to his contentedness with being at rest with himself and the extent of his joy around creation and learning.

    Recently, I was having an engaging and substantial conversation with a man and his business partner that I had cold-called and wanted to meet because I admired their work. I didn’t have a specific outcome in mind, I really just wanted to chat with them to discover our common ground. It seemed evident that we had much in common from an interests and values perspective. After about an hour, his business partner asked, half-jokingly, what I intended to steal from them. I answered, “Nothing. I don’t need to steal anything from you. I have so many ideas I’m interested in pursuing and plenty to offer your company.” I was not in the least offended by the comment, but I was a little saddened. Saddened because I felt that fleeting, beautiful, enriching moment of new creation pass us by. Too bad for all of us, I think, but perhaps the chapter is not altogether closed.

    I don’t think life is a zero sum game. I think the more we learn and are willing to “open our kimono” to one another, the more opportunities we gain to leverage one another’s extraordinary gifts for mutual benefit.

  2. Hey AC,

    Yeah, cool interview, huh. And your counterpoint moment is lovely. I so, so agree with you. The fact is, on some level of our beingness, it is human, in the evolution of us, even in a beautiful moment, to suddenly get smaller, protect, fear. It sounds like a cool meeting, and knowing your personality, your massive heart, the door is indeed “not altogether closed.” Some seed of greatness in you was watered by what they are doing, and in that moment, they stopped the water flowing. But it’s too late, the harvest, whatever it will be, is already coming up and unstoppable, as surely as some massive, miraculous cedar in a rainforest, another beautiful flower in a backyard garden, or a blade of grass through some concrete jungle.

    Unstoppable, my friend.

    Love ya!

    Pete xo

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