Wednesday, April 7, 2010

paper magic: a journal excerpt

In honor of Francis Coppola's birthday, here is a brief excerpt from a lengthy meditation I did on the magic of paper entitled Paper Life, back in January of this year.

Happy birthday, FFC. Thank you for helping me build magic paper castles.

* * *

My lifelong dabblings in art would finally bring me something life-shifting, seemingly by accident. It's a tale circuitous in that way so often characterizing careers in the arts, a series of causal links that in many ways are irrelevant here; the upshot is I found myself doing makeup and costumes for a low-budget, ultimately troubled film project...

...Because of this turn of events, my thirty-something self would [one day] stand in mute awe in Francis Coppola's library at his thousands of books, where I learn he employs a librarian to carefully cull hand-cut magazine and newspaper articles that pertain to his far-ranging interests. It's the late 1980s, and he is funding a movie project for a group of us newbies, while directing his own film, Tucker.

Later that same week, as I continue a succession of 14-hour days' work on the 21-day shoot, I am astonished to find myself conversing with the famous director through the open window of his stopped van on his rural Napa Valley property while I pause in organizing some equipment. No one else is around. On his lap I can see a bound and printed screenplay, and he remarks it was just given to him by Mario Puzo. Francis is wondering aloud, for my sole benefit on that gravel road in Rutherford, if he should immerse himself in that dark and complex world for yet another year of his life to make another Godfather film...

* * *

wayback link to paper life

Coming soon: the idea of audacity.

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