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Francis Ford Coppola$
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Jeff Menne

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038822

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038822.001.0001

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Francis Ford Coppola and the Underground Corporation

Francis Ford Coppola and the Underground Corporation

(p.1) Francis Ford Coppola and the Underground Corporation
Francis Ford Coppola

Jeff Menne

University of Illinois Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of Francis Ford Coppola's American Zoetrope. Taking a page from his mentor Roger Corman, Coppola gathered his film-school friends to form American Zoetrope, an off-Hollywood production firm that, like American International Pictures (AIP) before it, would make its way by setting up operations beyond the reach of the regulatory controls that had frozen young talent out of Hollywood. Coppola chose San Francisco for Zoetrope's base because it was an epicenter of the counterculture, and he wanted “bohemian life” to pervade the corporation. However, what kept Zoetrope from being another experiment for the New Communalists common enough then in and around San Francisco, was that the device organizing the endeavors of these like-minded friends was the corporation. They bent the device to their own ends, no doubt, but the effect was that corporate form partook of the informal energies on which the art world runs.

Keywords:   Francis Ford Coppola, American Zoetrope, American International Pictures, Hollywood, bohemian life, counterculture, New Communalists, corporation

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