Whom God Wishes to Destroy... Francis Coppola and the New Hollywood

Genre: Nonfiction, Movies, Biography; Author: Jon Lewis

In March 1980, Francis Coppola, director of the Oscar-winning Godfathers and Apocalypse Now, bought a run-down movie production lot in Hollywood for $6.7 million and, in a town that thrives on loyalty to the industry, had the nerve to buck the system by letting directors, not studio execs, call the shots. The story of Coppola’s frustrated objective — ”a studio based on the repertory principle” — is the substance of Jon Lewis’ informed, eminently readable survey of Coppola’s turbulent career and its head-on collision with a rapidly changing Hollywood. In Whom God Wishes to Destroy… Francis Coppola and the New Hollywood, Lewis documents the influence of conglomerates in the movie business, and throws light on Coppola’s ambitious plans to transform film technology. With wry wit and rigorous attention to detail, Lewis analyzes how Coppola’s dream operated, how and why it never became reality, and how a celebrated director created a body of work as notable for its agonized genesis as for its creative substance. B+

Originally posted June 16 1995 — 12:00 AM EDT

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