Francis Ford Coppola on Making Small Films Like 'Twixt'

The director of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now on why he decided to bypass the studio system and make what he calls “student films”
Illustration by Jimmy Turrell

I left the film industry 16 years ago, or it left me. When newspapers started to publish the box office scores of movies, I was horrified. Those results are totally fake because they never include the promotion budget. Film company owners used to be vulgar and tough, but they were showmen and they loved movies. Today the only guy like that is probably Harvey Weinstein. Most want a stream of product to help their stock price. Giving the public what the public supposedly wants is like asking your kids what they want for dinner and they say, “Oh, we want fries.” It was sort of embarrassing for me to go to these men with hat in hand and beg them, “Oh, can I do my movie?”

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