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Really interesting exploration of Coppola’s life and insight into some of his best and lesser-known movies. As part of what launched the appearance of New Hollywood and a more auteur-focused way of producing film, Coppola’s American Zoetrope company is the book’s starting point and the thread connecting all the different themes. Its history, significance and legacy are seen by the author to inform the totality of Coppola’s oeuvre.
Family and Hollywood are described as metaphors for business and corporations. This allows for an autobiographical reading of Coppola’s movies, as well as presenting them as being informed by opera, which the author considers the aesthetic equivalent to corporate form.
The rest of the Coppola family is also mentioned, and Sofia Coppola’s movies in particular are discussed as the continuation of her father’s project - although more informed by pop music sensitivity than operatic form.
The book is at times a bit too academic, and I must point out that the author seems to be largely uncritical of Coppola: shortcomings are not addressed, except for responding directly to specific criticisms by defending Coppola’s choices. However, since most critiques of Coppola’s work fall into the trap of portraying him as a “wasted genius”, it was refreshing to see a different, more sympathetic perspective.
Recommended if you’re a Coppola fan, or any kind of cinephile.
Note: I got this book for review purposes through NetGalley.