Saturday, December 3, 2016

An Evening

On Thursday evening, some friends and I made a field trip to the Getty Research Center for (what I believe was ) a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola spoke to an audience about the making of "The Godfather".
After reading Mario Puzo's The Godfather years ago, I've had something of an obsession with organized crime.  The movie (along with the second one) is in my top 5 favorite films.  We got the tickets back in October I believe, so I've been looking forward to the event for awhile now.
He was introduced by the Director of the Research Center, and then again by the interviewer.  Upon coming onto the stage and taking a seat, his pant legs crept up a bit, revealing bright red socks.  And his whole time on the stage was as endearing as those socks.  The stories he told about the filming of the movie were fascinating and funny.  It was so interesting to go "behind the scenes" so to speak on one of the greats.  The Getty is quite close to UCLA so there were several film students at the event.  Having gone to UCLA Film School himself, Coppola was very accommodating, answering their questions about his role as a filmmaker.  
Coppola has a new book out, which was the reason for the visit.  It's not a book he's authored per say, but rather notes and documents kept during the making of The Godfather.  Rather than using the script, Coppola's process (which he shared that evening) is to create a binder or notebook of his vision of the film he is working on.  The new book is actually a reproduction of his The Godfather notebook.  Being sold for $50 a book at the museum, I didn't purchase one.  It is probably quite interesting for anyone interested in the film and would be kind of fun to read through before watching the movie again - maybe giving a new perspective.  I might see if I can eventually borrow it from the library.
Even though he was born in Detroit an raised in Queens, he does have strong ties to California. In addition to studying at UCLA,  he moved to Norther California over 30 years ago.  He's also the owner of the Family Coppola Winery in Napa whose wines were served at the event.
I don't usually do evening events on a school night due to my early mornings,  but this one was worth the missing hours of sleep.


  1. That sounds an excellent trip. That place is perhaps the one reason I'd live in that town.
    I was looking on line and it's quite quite shocking the size and accoutrement going with ALL the houses near the Getty. And if you do the street view these houses look like normal Brady Bunch homes, not flipping Neuschwanstein. Did you know there's a vineyard up in Bel Air, Moraga Vinyard !!!!!!!!!!!!!.
    I never knew Nicolas Cage was his nephew.

    1. What's the red SAVESAVE about.

    2. The Getty has great talks. I wish I went more than I do, but the traffic and the "school night" issue keep me away more often than not. The traffic going down in the evening was less than I had expected due to most going the opposite direction, so it was a rather easy drive...can't be an excuse. :)
      There are little "wineries" all over the city and just outside as well. I've never been to the one in Bel Air, but have been to San Antonio, which is the oldest I believe. There grapes are now up north, but they still make wine and have a tasting room.
      The save save was weird, but not in the written post itself. I found it in the html code. I tried to remove it and it gave me an error, but then it went it away after saving it. No clue!?!

  2. What a wonderful treat! We use to have a copy of The Godfather on VHS somewhere around here, but would you believe I'm not sure if I've ever seen it?! Of course I know all the basics thanks to pop culture, but I probably should watch it sometime.

    I think you need to drop some little (or big) hints to those who love you. That book would make an excellent Christmas gift for you. :)

    1. Oh ya, you being a regular movie watcher will HAVE to watch it. It's on television all the time these days, but I'm sure you can find it on Netflix? I liked both the book and the movie, however he mentioned he was a bit disappointed in the book when writing the screenplay, which I found interesting.
      I thought about it as a gift and I also found it on Amazon for $30 so thought I might buy it for myself. But after the initial enjoyment of a coffee table book I get irritated with them and their clutter. I just found it on the library site and have held it for once they get it in.

  3. Dating myself, I remember when my favorite teacher in high school was raving about having tickets to see the second Godfather movie and then coming to school the next day and being so disappointed. I wouldn't see the Godfather series until sometime in college and I fell in love with those movies and could understand why my social studies teachers disliked the second one the most.

    A couple years ago, they had a marathon on television where you could see the entire series in order so that there weren't any flashbacks. I didn't think I would but I ended up enjoying it more that way than the original way with continual flashbacks. Someday I've been hoping to find a cheap copy at some garage sale on DVD and just add it to my collection of movies that I like to rewatch from time to time.

  4. ok so how crazy is it that I have never seen or read anything Godfather?!

  5. I'm like others here and never saw or read it, but you have piqued my interest. With your interest in organized crime, you might also enjoy "WitSec" which is about the history of the federal witness protection program. It is fascinating reading and after I read it I became suspicious of friends and neighbors!

    I get almost all my books from the library. I always have a running list of books to read so I'm very patient when I have to put items on hold and wait my turn. Only exception is when I come across something at a thrift store or the library's quarterly book sale - or gifts. (Although I try to he gracious, I would much rather the giver save his/her money!)