Image - the author, detail from his book cover, and full book cover
Live Stream

The Path to Paradise: A Francis Ford Coppola Story

Buy Tickets

If you are not a member yet, now is the time to join our community and receive the great benefits of membership. We are a group of people seeking truth, insight and wisdom about the issues we face as individuals and as a society. Please join! You can become a monthly sustaining member for just $10 a month.

Francis Ford Coppola is one of American films’ most dramatic director-dreamers, and his most transformative dream has been American Zoetrope, the production company he founded in San Francisco when he was only 30 years old―years before his gargantuan successes. Through Zoetrope’s experimental, communal utopia, Coppola attempted to reimagine the entire pursuit of moviemaking. Now, more than 50 years later, despite myriad setbacks, Coppola’s dream persists, as demonstrated by the culmination of his utopian ideals: the anticipated release in 2024 of his decades-in-the-making film Megalopolis.

As Sam Wasson makes clear, the story of Zoetrope includes the story of Coppola’s wife Eleanor, and of their children, whose personal lives are as inseparable from their artistic passions as Coppola's is. Wasson also charts the divergent paths of Coppola and his cofounder and onetime apprentice, George Lucas, and of their very different visions of art and commerce. And of course Wasson weighs in on the making of one of the greatest quixotic masterpieces ever attempted, Apocalypse Now, and on what Coppola found in the jungles of the Philippines when he walked the razor’s edge.

MLF Organizer
George Hammond

This program is online only. Please pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream video.

The Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California is a nonprofit public forum; we welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our programming.

A Humanities Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Bernard Osher Foundation

Wasson photo by Gary Copeland.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Thu, Jun 6 / 3:00 PM PDT

The Commonwealth Club World Affairs of California
United States

Image - Sam Wasson

Sam Wasson

Author, The Path to Paradise: A Francis Ford Coppola Story

Image - George Hammond

In Conversation with George Hammond

Author, Conversations With Socrates


3 p.m program
(all times Pacific Time)


Free for members
$5 nonmembers
$33 members with a book
$38 nonmembers with a book