Pairing wine with movies! See the trailers and hear the fascinating commentary for these movies, and many more, at Trailers From Hell. This week, a trio of films directed by the great Francis Ford Coppola. The wine pairings are easy choices this time around, since Coppola also has a winery. The director and vintner sold his Francis Ford Coppola winery recently but retained Inglenook, where he has a home.
Coppola wrote and directed the 1966 film, You’re a Big Boy Now. The story concerns a young man who, according to the movie poster, “wants no part of sex – he wants it all.” The boy in question – Big Boy – seems to do reasonably well with the ladies, but is not exactly a Cassanova and is certainly no Lothario. He is just finding his way in the world of adult relationships.
It is fun to note that Big Boy was made as Coppola’s thesis at UCLA film school. How can you not love a movie with character names like Barbara Darling and Miss Thing? The presence of Rip Torn and Geraldine Page are bonuses.
Coppola’s wines generally are made from grapes out of Napa or Sonoma, but here’s one with SoCal roots. The Francis Coppola Reserve Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay has the hallmark earthiness of Santa Barbara County’s Santa Maria Valley, at a pretty decent price of just over $40.
1979’s Apocalypse Now is generally considered to be Coppola’s masterpiece, a film which resides in just about any cinematic “Best Of” list you can find. Besides giving us a dark and soul-searching vision of the Vietnam War, it also injected several phrases into the popular lexicon. Who among us hasn’t paraphrased, “I love the smell of napalm in the morning,” “the horror, the horror” or “never get out of the boat”? (At least not until the boat has come to a full and complete stop.)
A movie about the movie calls the many production problems encountered by Coppola “A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.” Weather delays, temperamental actors and budget overruns look like small potatoes when set next to emotional breakdowns and a serious heart attack. Just remember – if you don’t get off the boat, you don’t have a movie.
While we can’t say that Coppola’s Diamond Collection Malbec will smell like victory, it may well take you to your virtual heart of darkness. As one of my favorite bartenders used to scream every time I walked through the door, “Schlagers!”
If you ever find yourself playing a “seven degrees of Coppola” game, this one might come in handy. Dementia 13 was written and directed by Coppola in 1963 – and produced by Roger Corman. The producer was looking to stamp out a cheap copy of Psycho with castles, and gave Coppola a shot at the director’s chair after having worked with him on another film. The two men found themselves in disagreement – didn’t see that coming – and Corman eventually hired another director to shoot more footage.
The black-and-white horror film still stands as vintage Corman – if not vintage Coppola – and it features an axe murder, a decapitation, a drowning and the underwater disposal of a heart attack victim. Scary stuff with a low-budget flair.
Coppola’s Director’s Cut Zinfandel brings the spice and everything nice to counter the snips and snails of Dementia 13.