France ranks Coppola 'Officer' in Legion of Honor

13th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 13, 2007 (AFP) - Five-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola was promoted to "Officier" in the French Legion on Honor by the France's consul general in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 13, 2007 (AFP) - Five-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola was promoted to "Officier" in the French Legion on Honor by the France's consul general in San Francisco.

Frederic Desagneaux raised Coppola's rank from "Chevalier" to "Officier" in the legion, praising his contributions to cinema and culture along with his "passion for food, wine and art."

"I wasn't quite expecting this promotion," Coppola said after Desagneaux pinned the "Officier" medal to his lapel. "I'm very grateful and I'm very touched. My granddaughter Romy thanks you as well."

Coppola's daughter Sofia, an accomplished filmmaker whose works include "Lost in Translation" and "Marie-Antoinette," gave birth in Paris in November. Romy's father is French singer Thomas Mars.

"You are a wonderful storyteller," Desagneaux told Coppola during an intimate ceremony at the consul general's San Francisco home Thursday.

"I think a main reason the French audience likes your films is that they deal with the myth and legend of America."

Coppola's films include "Apocalypse Now" and "The Godfather" trilogy.

Coppola's film "Youth Without Youth" based on a novella by Romanian author Mircea Eliade will be released later this year and is the director's first offering in a decade.

Among those gathered at the soiree were wine-making icon Margrit Mondavi and her husband, Robert Mondavi, who wore around his neck a medal marking him as a "Chevalier dans l'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur."

"This is wonderful," said Margrit Mondavi, a neighbor to Coppola in Napa Valley's premier wine country, where he has a winery.

The Legion of Honor was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 as a form of knighthood and the French president is its "grand master."

Actor-director Clint Eastwood was inducted into the legion in February by outgoing French president Jacques Chirac.

Coppola light-heartedly told AFP he wasn't certain what orders he might be able to give, or to whom, now that he has been bumped up in rank in the legion.

AFP

Subject: French news

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