The 70 best phrases of Francis Ford Coppola
Apr 13, 2023
Francis Ford Coppola (Detroit, 1939) is one of today's most renowned filmmakers. Hollywood star behind the scenes has had spectacular success, accumulating 5 Oscars.
Screenwriter and director of The Godfather, and The Godfather II, has also been awarded at festivals such as Cannes for films such as The conversation and Apocalypse Now.
- We recommend you read: "60 phrases from movies that marked the history of cinema"
Famous quotes by Francis Ford Coppola
For many critics and experts in the seventh art, Francis Ford Coppola is one of the most incredible filmmakers of the 20th century.
In today's article We are going to know the best phrases of Francis Ford Coppola, as well as his reflections not only on cinema but on life in general.
- Recommended article: "The 25 Best Robert De Niro Quotes"
1. An essential element of any art is risk. If you don't take risks, how are you going to make something really beautiful that hasn't been seen before?
Art is based on just that.
2. I believe that cinema and magic have always been closely associated. The first people who made movies were magicians.
A way to catch and excite the viewer.
3. My talent is that I just try to try and try to try again and little by little it comes to something.
Visions become reality after much effort.
4. You don't have to specialize, do everything you love and then at some point the future will come together for you somehow.
Passion is the necessary condition for things to go well.
5. I was the type of kid who had some talents or abilities, but never came out in school.
It was later that his talent could be fully developed.
6. There is nothing creative about surviving within your means.
The limits are a little further.
7. Anything you build on a grand scale or with intense passion invites chaos.
The creative rush goes hand in hand with a lack of balance.
8. I think it's better to be too ambitious and fail than to be unambitious and succeed in a mundane way. I have been very lucky. I failed upwards in my life!
Great reflection on the winning mentality.
9. One thing I'm sure of is the true pleasure of life: you don't know, it's not having your own plane, it's not having a mansion, the pleasure is learning something.
The greatest gain in life is constant learning, according to Ford Coppola.
10. You have to be really brave about your instincts and your ideas. Otherwise, it will just get folded and things that could have been memorable will be lost.
Another phrase about perseverance in life.
11. Drinking wine is just a part of life, like eating food.
Free interpretation of each person.
12. Always make your work personal. And, you never have to lie... There is something we know that is connected with beauty and truth. There is something old. We know that art is about beauty and therefore has to do with truth.
If you feel it as yours, it will be of a higher quality.
13. When you make a movie it's like asking yourself a question. When it's over, you know the answer. Ultimately, with all the cinema, we're just trying to learn about ourselves. I have always taken the opportunity to make a film to learn more about myself, which I am still doing.
A great vision of the seventh art and its characteristics.
14. If the movie works, no one notices the mistakes... If the movie doesn't work, all people notice are bugs.
An essential truth about things well done.
15. Although knowledge of structure is helpful, real creativity comes from leaps of faith where you jump into something illogical. But those jumps make up the memorable moments in movies and plays.
A curious definition of creativity.
16. Sound is your friend because sound is much cheaper than image, but it has the same effect on the audience; in a way, perhaps it has more of an effect because it does it in a very indirect way.
About one of the aspects that tend to go unnoticed... but that are essential in a good movie.
17. Wine is much more than a drink. It's a romance, a story, a drama, all those things that are basically a show.
A compliment to this appreciated alcoholic beverage.
18. Anyone who has made movies and knows cinema has a lifelong love affair with the experience. You never stop learning about the movie.
It is constant learning, according to Ford Coppola.
19. I don't think there is any artist of value who doesn't doubt what they are doing.
There's always some kind of impostor syndrome lurking around.
20. Do not work on something that is not an epic level.
If it's not worth it, don't even try.
21. Generally things that are your best idea or work will be attacked the most.
Precisely because they stand out they will raise blisters.
22. The reason one wants to make low-budget movies is because the lower the budget, the bigger the ideas, the bigger the themes, the more interesting the art.
Many creative ideas are born from the lack of budget.
23. Movies are the art form closest to man's imagination.
The seventh art is one of the most complete and multidimensional.
24. Time is the lens through which dreams are captured.
One of those phrases about time that leave us thinking for hours.
25. So give yourself a chance to put all 80, 90 pages of a draft together and then read it really well in a nice little ceremony, where you sit comfortable, and read it and take good notes about it, what you like, what you played, what moved you, what is a possible way, and then the rewrite.
On the process of writing a film script.
26. I like the simplicity; I don't need luxury.
Austerity is the best travel companion.
27. You are in a profession in which absolutely everyone is telling you their opinion, which is different. That's one of the reasons George Lucas never directed again.
Some geniuses end up unhinged after criticism.
28. No imagination is needed to live within your means.
Another sentence that advocates austerity and common sense.
29. A director is the ringmaster of a circus that is inventing itself.
A great phrase by Francis Ford Coppola to understand the magic of cinema.
30. There can be no art without risk. It's like saying no to sex, and then expecting children.
A good metaphor to explain the artist's courage.
31. Everyone knows the phenomenon of trying to hold your breath underwater: as in the beginning it's fine and you can handle it, and then it gets closer and closer to the time when you must breathe, how urgent is the need and hunger breathe. And then the panic begins when you start to think that you won't be able to breathe, and finally, when you take a breath and the anxiety subsides... that's what it's like to be a vampire and need blood.
Metaphor to apply to the extreme situations of life.
32. Death is what makes life an event.
Live, and then disappear.
33. Whom God wishes to destroy, he first succeeds in show business.
Surely, Ford Coppola was referring to the disordered life of most artists.
34. The photographer and the director are where reality and fantasy meet.
Two heavyweights in the making of any film.
35. I have more of a vivid imagination than talent. I cook ideas. It's just a feature.
A creative must possess this way of thinking.
36. The professional world was much nastier than he thought. I always wished that I could recapture the enthusiasm that he had when he did shows in college.
The myriad of interests and backstabbing in the workplace is something that Ford Coppola also suffered.
37. You should love what you're doing because, especially in a movie, over time you'll really start to hate it.
- In a sense, I think a movie really is a bit like a question and when you ask it, that's when you get the answer.
At the end of the filming process, you may have more extensive and accurate knowledge about existence.
39. Several images put together in a certain way become something far above and beyond what any one of them is individually.
The sum of the parts is more than the separate parts.
40. Some criticism is stimulating because it makes you realize how you can improve, and those are valued.
Humility above all.
41. I think cinematography, as it probably is everything, is a game you have to play with all your cards, all your dice and everything you have. So every time I make a movie, I give it everything I have. I think everyone should do it, and I think everyone should do everything they do that way.
True passion for the profession of filmmaker.
42. The most adventurous thing I've ever done is learning how to fly a helicopter in the Philippines. One night we landed on a beach and slept on it.
One of his most famous adventures.
43. We were raised in an Italian-American home, even though we don't speak Italian at home. We were very proud to be Italian, and we had Italian music, we ate Italian food.
About his early childhood and his Italian roots.
44. I liked working in a store in the basement and inventing things and creating gadgets.
Another famous quote from Francis Ford Coppola that reviews his tastes during the early stages of his life.
45. The things you get fired for when you're young are the same things you get lifetime achievement awards for when you're old.
Perhaps certain attributes are valued very differently depending on how old you are.
46. If you are a person who says yes most of the time, you will find yourself in the hotel business and the restaurant business.
A statement that is quite difficult to interpret.
47. Listen, if there's one sure rule I've learned in this business, it's that I don't know anything about human nature.
Everything is a great mystery.
48. It was the man's dream and his inspiring attempt to make it come true that remain important.
Pursuing goals is essential for the development of humanity.
49. I have been offered many movies. There is always an actor who is doing a project that offers you something. But you look at the project and you think, 'Wow, there are a lot of good directors who could do that.' I would like to do something that only I can do.
Looking for very personal jobs.
50. The sequences are not made for the public, the cinema or the filmmakers. It's for the dealer. The film becomes a brand.
A detail that perhaps is not noticed by the general public.
51. Most of the Italians who came to this country are very patriotic. There was the exciting possibility that if you worked really hard and loved something, you could be successful.
The American dream from the vision of Italian emigrants.
52. When I was around 9 years old, I had polio and people were very scared for their children, so I used to be isolated. I was paralyzed for a while, so I watched TV.
From there his interest in the seventh art forged.
53. I became quite successful at a very young age, and it was mainly because I was very enthusiastic and worked very hard at it.
The recipe for success. There is no other way possible.
54. My family were symphonic musicians and in the opera. Besides, it was my time, the love of radio. We used to listen to the radio at night, close our eyes and see movies much more beautiful than you can photograph.
About one of the most beautiful customs of his family.
55. Stay innocent. I am 69 years old and still innocent.
Ingenuity, divine treasure.
56. Art depends on luck and talent.
Several ingredients that are totally necessary.
57. We had access to too much equipment, too much money, and little by little we went crazy.
This happens when the productions have a budget that is too exorbitant.
58. I grew up Catholic, but I didn't like the Catholic Church at all. I thought nuns were bad.
About his relationship with the Church.
59. I had a number of very strong personalities in my family. My father was a concert flutist, solo flute for Toscanini.
Memories about his childhood.
60. I remember at The Conversation they brought me all these coats and said, Do you want me to look like a detective, Humphrey Bogart? Do you want it to look like a blah blah blah? I didn't know, and I said the issue was "privacy" and I chose the plastic coat that you could see. So knowing the topic helps you make a decision when you're not sure which way to go.
A way to move faster.
61. The essence of cinema is editing. It's the combination of what can be extraordinary images of people during emotional moments, or images in a general sense, put together in a kind of alchemy.
Without cuts and retouching we would not enjoy an excellent film.
62. Music is an important factor in helping to bring the illusion of the film to life. In the same way that music brings us different periods of our lives.
Francis Ford Coppola makes clear the need for great soundtracks.
63. If you can't experiment more for fear of being seen as self-indulgent or pretentious or whatever, everyone will stick to the rules, there will be no additional ideas.
Let your imagination flow and put unfounded criticism out of your mind.
64. I have a lot to learn from my daughter Sofia. Its minimalism exposes my limitations: I'm too instinctive and operatic, I put too much heart into my work, I sometimes get lost in strange things, it's my Italian heritage.
Her daughter changed the perception of her at once.
65. Most directors have a masterpiece for which they are known. Kurosawa has at least eight or nine.
A phrase from Ford Coppola in which he shows his admiration for that director.
66. He was terrible at math, but he could grasp science, and he used to read about the lives of scientists. I wanted to be a scientist or an inventor.
Another reflection on his childhood and his dreams.
67. He wanted to be a film student again, like a 60-year-old man. Going somewhere alone and seeing what you can cook, on non-existent budgets. I didn't want to be surrounded by comforts and colleagues, which you have when you are a great director. I wanted to write personal works.
His career was going down paths that he did not want to accept.
68. In America, even critics, which is a shame, tend to categorize things by genre. They have a difficult time when genders mix. They want to categorize things. That's why I love Wes Anderson movies and the Coen brothers, because you don't know what you're going to get, and very often you get something you don't expect and that's exactly what a gender.
Outside of all labels there is art and artistic innovation.
69. I no longer depend on the movie business for a living. So if I want to make movies since other older guys are golfing, I can.
Financial freedom and its honeys.
70. That is part of the requirement for me to be an artist, is that you are trying to share your personal existence with others and trying to illuminate modern life, trying to understand life.
In the path of the film director, this kind of constant learning about human existence from many perspectives is forged.