Steve Shapiro

We were knocked out by Ariston Anderson’s interview in 99% with the great director Francis Ford Coppola who made The Godfather, The Conversation and Apocalypse Now among other astonishing films. In talking about film, he talks deeply about making any kind of art, and about living. Here are some excerpts (read in context, they are even better):

Our favorite: “The cinema language happened by experimentation – by people not knowing what to do….”

“An essential element of any art is risk. If you don’t take a risk then how are you going to make something really beautiful, that hasn’t been seen before…”

“…I once found a little excerpt from Balzac. He speaks about a young writer who stole some of his prose. The thing that almost made me weep, he said, “I was so happy when this young person took from me.” Because that’s what we want. We want you to take from us. We want you, at first, to steal from us, because you can’t steal. You will take what we give you and you will put it in your own voice and that’s how you will find your voice.

And that’s how you begin. And then one day someone will steal from you….

…Don’t worry about whether it’s appropriate to borrow or to take or do something like someone you admire because that’s only the first step and you have to take the first step.

The full interview is REALLY worth reading. You’ll find it here.

In the photo, above, Coppola choreographs Marlon Brando’s slide down the front of his car after his character’s assassination in the film The Godfather I; it’s by Steve Shapiro via The Telegraph’s The Godfather Family Album.

Thanks, Lydia!