Francis Ford Coppola

Coppola was among a small group who revitalised American film-making in the 1970’s. Corman gave the young graduate his first break, later advising against shooting in the Philippines. He established a production company with his lifelong friend Lucas, and directed Brando in two of the three films that rescued his reputation. Among the ‘masters’ he honoured and met were Kurosawa and Polanski; he also championed Wenders, though their collaboration proved a fraught one. Vidal, who wrote a script with him, described him as post-Gutenberg — the first writer he’d met for whom it was all about film.

Francis Ford Coppola knew…

John Grierson

1898 (Deanston, Scotland) – 1972 (Bath, England)

Grierson is best known for bringing creative individuals productively together, and was a pivotal figure in British and Canadian film culture. He worked as a young cameraman for Huxley. He met Flaherty (a strong influence) in the U.S.; reviewing Flaherty’s ‘Moana’, he was the first in English to employ the term ‘documentary’. McLaren, Lye, Cavalcanti, Jennings, Auden, Lee, Britten all worked for his renowned G.P.O. Film Unit, McLaren following him to Canada. The emigrée Reiniger made some films for him. Eisenstein (another formative influence) attended the première of Grierson’s ‘Drifters’. He said art was not a mirror, but a hammer.

John Grierson knew…