Last week I received an invitation to attend a Francis Ford Coppola Presents production. The event was titled, "Wine, Daydreams and Memories." The invite was classy. Letter pressed. With weight. Sealed with a little silver token. And my name was spelled right. Even the girl who responded to my phone RSVP was sweet (she was human for one and not a recording -- nice touch). I've been very fortunate to be invited to some damn cool functions. And sadly, sometimes jaded by it all. However, this production, caught my eye as everything about it felt, lovely.
So fast forward to today and I'm kind of giddy for a couple of reasons: 1) I could not find any information online for this affair, 2) I was going to leave work before the sun went down and 3) maybe Mr. Coppola would show up. Pulling up to the Ivar theatre, I saw a bunch of guests milling about outside. Hmm. I don't recognize anyone. It was a mixed-age and mixed-dressed group. A couple of hipsters. A couple of suits. A lot of people that looked like my entertainment industry aunts and uncles.
Bumping into Porous outside was a little bit of a relief. He greeted me with a big smile and a red knitted cap. We caught up on art and life in general. Silvio and Jesus finally arrived and after a few rules were laid down (please turn off your phone, no cameras, and you'll want to carry this bag in as it's going to get filled up with stuff) we were shown to our seats. And then...
I can't really tell you what happens! But Mr. Coppola basically came out and talked about his family, food, and film and how all had greatly influenced his life. I was shown historical pictures and got a sense of where and how this Italian-American boy may have found his strength and pride in all he chooses to do. Oh and while explaining his love for good cheer and food, Mr. Coppola is running in and out of screens, cracking jokes, sharing antipasto, pouring wine, and talking to us as though we were part of his kin?
What could've been explained simply as: legendary film auteur hocks family-run goods/products at a marketing/magic show bonanza is not enough. It was much more than that. And if you are lucky enough to be one of the 100 odd guests invited per show in selected cities, go. It's storytelling straight from Papa Coppola's mouth with him sending you off with swag from his "kitchen" including spaghetti sauce, pasta, wine, and reading material. If anything, experiencing Mr. Coppola's joie de vivre up close and personal was a real surreal treat.