Francis Ford Coppola is finally receiving the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award at the Oscars ceremony this Sunday. In honor of "creative producers whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production," Coppola is receiving the honors in part because the man's produced 72 films. Because, as the Academy points out, movies made by his production company, American Zoetrope, have earned 63 Oscar nominations and 15 wins (21 nods are for 'Conversation' and 'Godfather' films alone). And finally, because co-Zoetrope lead George Lucas won that same accolade 19 years ago.

Born out of the the Roger Corman world of pulp, Coppola was a directorial powerhouse in the '70s, who became a leading producer of wildly diverse projects. For most filmmakers "diverse" might mean some dramas, some action and maybe some light comedy. For Coppola, it really stretches the boundaries ranging from the epic documentary 'Koyaanisqatsi,' to the silly, flesh-eating creepiness of 'Jeepers Creepers,' to the intellectual passion of 'Kinsey.'
It's not so much of a surprise when you check out this (sorry, no embed) '70s interview when the filmmaker was 36. Coppola stressed his belief that it was time to "start leaving this age of specialization" to become "generalists in the area of life." It's a mentality he never moved out of, which speaks to his on-going success.

In a more recent interview embedded below, he talks about the benefits of going through life without saying no. For Coppola, it seems to have paid off quite well, even if he's also the man behind 'Jack.'

categories Oscars, Columns, Cinematical