Anne Marie here, bringing you the concrete facts from TCM Film Festival.
Francis Ford Coppola was honored twice at TCM Film Festival today. First, the legendary director added his hands and feet to the stars imprinted in the cement outside the TCL Chinese Theatre. Son Roman Coppola, wife Eleanor, and fellow director and friend Peter Bogdonavich were also in attendance to honor the 77 year old legend at the ceremony.
Later, Coppola sat down at the TCL Chinese Theatre with TCM host Ben Mankiewicz before a special screening of The Conversation. Mankiewicz and Coppola discussed the director's full 50 year career, and his (in)famous struggles to get his now-iconic films made in the first place. From fighting studio casting vetoes during The Godfather to self-financing Apocalypse Now, there seems to be no film in the director's oeuvre that he didn't have to fight for in some way. Quipped Mankiewicz, "Your stories don't really reflect well on the Paramount management."
When the interview turned to The Conversation, Coppola had much more passionate things to say. Inspired by Blow Up, Coppola actually wrote the script a year and a half before shooting The Godfather. In fact Coppola freely admitted that The Conversation never would have been made if not for his most gangster film, though he suspects he was only hired for The Godfather because he was cheap, Italian, and could be pushed around. Still, Coppola stated that he was grateful for those who left their legacy on his work: director Irving Kershner, who encouraged him to write, and TCM, who keeps all of his movies in the cinematic conversation