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Eat grass

Jenny Turner: The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing by Melissa Bank, 15 July 1999

The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing 
by Melissa Bank.
Viking, 274 pp., £9.99, July 1999, 9780670883004
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... like Sleepless in Seattle and The Truth about Cats and Dogs. You may not be surprised to hear that Francis FordCoppola has bought the film rights to this story, and has hired Bank to write the screenplay. My Hollywood source says that Coppola these days is more interested in his ...

Loving Dracula

Michael Wood, 25 February 1993

Bram Stoker’s Dracula 
directed by Francis FordCoppola.
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Suckers: Bleeding London Dry 
by Anne Billson.
Pan, 315 pp., £4.99, January 1993, 0 330 32806 9
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... bats and wolves and the night, he carries the imagery of rabies and syphilis into the age of Aids. Francis FordCoppola’s lavish, stylish, sometimes silly, always engaging movie also includes the lines quoted above, but we hardly notice them because we’ve just been treated to a much more spectacular encounter ...

Just one of those ends

Michael Wood: Apocalypse Regained, 13 December 2001

Apocalypse Now Redux 
directed by Francis FordCoppola.
August 2001
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Marlon Brando 
by Patricia Bosworth.
Weidenfeld, 216 pp., £12.99, October 2001, 0 297 84284 6
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... too, and takes off on an extraordinary literary ramble from which it never returns and in which Francis Coppola and his team seem to have decided to do The Golden Bough as their Christmas pantomime. The confused ending weighs on the film but doesn’t wreck it, so we don’t need to hush up the confusion or pretend it isn’t confusion at ...

Who’s Got the Moxie?

A. Craig Copetas, 23 March 1995

The Mexican Tree Duck 
by James Crumley.
Picador, 247 pp., £15.99, May 1994, 0 330 32451 9
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One to Count Cadence 
by James Crumley.
Picador, 338 pp., £5.99, May 1994, 0 330 32450 0
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... landlord’s lament: Man, I have hated gin since the day I got to the UK. My old man sent me to Oxford. I hated every moment on that foul little island with those pasty-faced pricks. ‘Cept for the women, of course; they were fine. But I made this place look like it does now to remind me of those bad times ... Tourists are brave, not reasonable. In fact they ...


David Thomson: Alcatraz, 26 March 2009

... The stretch of water known as San Francisco Bay was transformed in the 1930s. No one intended this, but the bay, famous for rapid shifts in weather, light and mood, became a kind of stage set for a drama that might have been entitled ‘What makes the US run?’ In November 1936, the Bay Bridge opened, linking San Francisco and Oakland and Berkeley, with Yerba Buena Island as a stepping-stone ...

Time and the Sea

Fredric Jameson, 16 April 2020

... as many obstacles as in The Shadow-Line but reaches a different and more wondrous conclusion (Francis FordCoppola borrowed it for Apocalypse Now, his film version of Heart of Darkness). Touching shore at long last in the dark, Marlow wakes from the sleep of exhaustion to a silent dawn: I opened my eyes … and ...

Purple Days

Mark Ford, 12 May 1994

The Pugilist at Rest 
by Thom Jones.
Faber, 230 pp., £14.99, March 1994, 0 571 17134 6
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The Sorrow of War 
by Bao Ninh, translated by Frank Palmos.
Secker, 217 pp., £8.99, January 1994, 0 436 31042 2
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A Good Scent from Strange Mountain 
by Robert Olen Butler.
Minerva, 249 pp., £5.99, November 1993, 0 7493 9767 5
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Out of the Sixties: Storytelling and the Vietnam Generation 
by David Wyatt.
Cambridge, 230 pp., £35, February 1994, 9780521441513
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... surreal looniness of it all has been rendered so often and vividly – in books such as Gustav Hasford’s The Short-Timers, films such as Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket – that it has become harder than ever to comprehend the war as a historical fact. The success of The Sorrow of War derives largely from its formal inventiveness. Ninh structures fragments of ...

Tsk, Ukh, Hmmm

Michael Newton: Forgetting to remember to forget, 23 February 2006

Echolalias: On the Forgetting of Language 
by Daniel Heller-Roazen.
Zone, 287 pp., £18.95, May 2005, 1 890951 49 8
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... a trace of the old, a remnant that memorialises its loss. There is a telling moment in Eleanor Coppola’s Hearts of Darkness, a documentary on the making of her husband’s film Apocalypse Now. An exasperated Francis FordCoppola attempts to persuade a strung-out Dennis Hopper ...

Bandini to Hackmuth

Christopher Tayler: John Fante, 21 September 2000

Ask the Dust 
by John Fante.
Rebel Inc, 198 pp., £6.99, September 1999, 0 86241 987 5
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Full of Life: A Biography of John Fante 
by Stephen Cooper.
Rebel Inc, 406 pp., £16.99, May 2000, 9781841950228
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... Towne came across Ask the Dust and took up Fante’s cause. He optioned the novel and persuaded Francis FordCoppola to do the same for the book Fante was then working on, The Brotherhood of the Grape (1977). In 1978, the poet Charles Bukowski mentioned his debt to Fante in his novel Women; Bukowski’s ...


Iain Sinclair: Ferlinghetti, 17 December 2015

I Greet You at the Beginning of a Great Career: The Selected Correspondence of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, 1955–97 
edited by Bill Morgan.
City Lights, 284 pp., £11.83, July 2015, 978 0 87286 678 2
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Writing across the Landscape: Travel Journals 1960-2010 
by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, edited by Giada Diano and Matthew Gleeson.
Liveright, 464 pp., £22.99, October 2015, 978 1 63149 001 9
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... reeking foxes. Two ambitious young or youngish American men operating out of the same city, San Francisco, forge an alliance of mutual misunderstanding through a love of words and thirst for fame. The celebrated episode that triggered the telegram took place on 7 October 1955 in the cramped confines of the Six Gallery, an auto-repair shop at Union and ...

Smilingly Excluded

Richard Lloyd Parry: An Outsider in Tokyo, 17 August 2006

The Japan Journals: 1947-2004 
by Donald Richie, edited by Leza Lowitz.
Stone Bridge, 494 pp., £13.99, October 2005, 1 880656 97 3
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... as something close to liberation, a stimulus to observation and analysis. ‘Japan has afforded him’ – the author – ‘a situation of writing,’ Roland Barthes wrote in Empire of Signs. This situation is ‘one in which a certain disturbance of the person occurs, a subversion of earlier readings, a shock of meaning lacerated, extenuated to the ...

Star Warrior

John Sutherland, 6 October 1983

Skywalking: The Life and Films of George Lucas 
by Dale Pollock.
Elm Tree, 304 pp., £9.95, July 1983, 0 241 11034 3
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Olaf Stapledon: A Man Divided 
by Leslie Fiedler.
Oxford, 236 pp., £17.50, June 1983, 0 19 503086 9
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... John Paul or Mickey Mouse. Lucas’s second movie and first hit, American Graffiti (produced by Francis Coppola, conceived and directed by Lucas), was the most profitable investment in Hollywood history: it brought in $117m against a production cost of $750,000. Raiders of the Lost Ark (conceived and produced by Lucas, directed by Steven Spielberg) has ...

What does a chicken know of bombs?

David Thomson: A Key to Brando, 25 November 2019

The Contender: The Story of Marlon Brando 
by William J. Mann.
HarperCollins, 718 pp., £22, November 2019, 978 0 06 242764 9
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... pictures grew less necessary, or compelling, and by 1972 he was scarcely employable. That’s when Francis Coppola insisted to Paramount that only Brando should play Vito Corleone in The Godfather. Other actors had been mentioned, including Laurence Olivier, Robert Mitchum and Sinatra. But Coppola held out; he shot a ...

All That Gab

James Wolcott: The Upsides of Sontag’s Downsides, 24 October 2019

Sontag: Her Life 
by Benjamin Moser.
Allen Lane, 832 pp., £30, September 2019, 978 0 241 00348 0
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... of Chicago, graduate study and a Master of Arts at Harvard, a fellowship at St Anne’s College, Oxford, where she attended lectures by Isaiah Berlin and had classes with A.J. Ayer, Stuart Hampshire and Iris Murdoch; most fatefully, a sojourn at the Sorbonne, where, like Audrey Hepburn pixie-ing through the new philosophy of Empathicalism in Funny Face, she ...


James Meek: Real Murderers!, 7 October 2015

... who had given Khrzhanovsky carte blanche. Some have compared the pre-story of Dau to that of Francis FordCoppola’s Apocalypse Now, which began shooting in the Philippines in March 1976, ended principal photography in May of the following year, and went on general release more than two years later. Yet although ...

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