In part one of our blog to look at some of the very best Italian-American film directors that America has ever seen we delved into the lives of Francis Coppola, Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino. And in this blog we start our Italian-American blog with the daughter of Francis Coppola, Sofia Coppola.
Being the daughter of one of the world’s most famous film directors does not necessarily mean that you are as talented as your father in the world of cinema. But in the case of Sofia Coppola, her talents are many fold and that includes film directing.
Sofia Coppola has many qualities including screenwriting, designing clothing, acting, producing and of course film directing. Coppola has a rather quirky style, but she is tenacious at everything she turns her mind to. In film directing this means taking a project from the very start and staying with it every step of the way until completion. Her films include, The Virgin Suicides, Marie Antoinette and Lost in Translation. Sofia has received an Oscar for her talents and without doubt has held the family directing torch high above her head. Cementing the Coppola family as the first Italian-American directing dynasty.
Cimino came to fame in one of the most accurate Vietnam War films ever made, namely the Deerhunter. It also was responsible for helping launch the careers of Meryl Streep, Robert DeNiro and Christopher Walken. The brilliant and massive hit the Deerhunter was his last and only success. His follow up movie was called Heaven’s Gate and was an instant flop. It was not only over budget, but it also made the studio that produced it bankrupt. Cimino’s story demonstrates how fickle the film industry can be, and just how thin the line is between cinematic success and failure.
Brian De Palma
Brian De Palma has had a long and industrious career in the film business, and has been associated with cinema for over half a century. His greatest areas of expertise are similar to Alfred Hitchcock as he is most comfortable with crime drama, psychological thrillers and suspense themes. His movies have always done well at the box office as some of his biggest hits include films such as, Mission Impossible, The Untouchables, Femme Fatale, Blow Out, Sisters and Scarface. When the new generation of Hollywood directors came to the fore, Brian De Palma instantly became one of their ranks and has remained there.
De Palma’s films have never shied away from controversy and his critics have cited that his explicit and graphic use of sexual content and violence are sometimes over the top. However, his fans dispute such criticism and say that De Palma’s movies are realistic and lifelike.
Other famous and successful Italian-American film directors have included, Abel Ferrara, Stanley Tucci, Steve Buschemi, David O. Russel and Godfrey Reggio. Looking back at some of the huge film successes that this group of talented directors have achieved it is hard to think of another adopted American race that has contributed so much to American film and culture.