• Fri
  • Oct 31, 2014
  • Updated: 2:15pm

Six degrees

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 November, 2011, 12:00am

Francis Ford Coppola (below) was in Hong Kong last week for the WineFuture industry conference at the Convention and Exhibition Centre. The Hollywood filmmaker, who is also a winemaker, declared: 'I recall wine at the table since my earliest memories.' Before his filmmaking career took off, Coppola studied at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he met a man whose song The End he would later used in the soundtrack to Apocalypse Now, Jim Morrison ...

The lead singer of The Doors is many things to many people: poet, mystic, talisman of the bohemian 1960s counterculture, bloke who got fat and died in a bathtub. A member of the tragic 27 Club of musicians who died at that age, he was buried in Paris' Pere Lachaise Cemetery, the final resting place of a few other famous people, including Marcel Proust, Frederic Chopin, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, more commonly known as Moliiere ...

A towering figure in the history of European literature, the 17th-century French playwright is an acknowledged master of comedy (well, acknowledged by most people - Laurence Olivier reputedly described his work as being as 'funny as a baby's open grave'). His satires attracted the ire of the Catholic Church but were popular at court, where one of his patrons was Philippe I, the brother of King Louis XIV ...

The Sun King has been portrayed in film on numerous occasions, as has his descendant, Louis XVI. Somewhat less of a star of the silver screen is Louis XIV's great-grandson, Louis XV - surprising when you consider his reign was marked by military misadventures and his personal life by breathtaking debauchery. He was, however, a character in the 2006 film Marie Antoinette, in which he was played by Rip Torn ...

The renowned actor is also something of a renowned drinker who has more than once fallen foul of the law against driving under the influence. Last year, after being caught breaking into a bank in Connecticut, in the United States, while carrying a loaded gun, he claimed he was so drunk he thought the bank was his home. Besides alcohol and firearms, gambling has also played a part in Torn's career, when he appeared in seminal poker film The Cincinnati Kid, alongside Steve McQueen and Edward G. Robinson ...

From Little Caesar to Key Largo, in his early career, Robinson made the gangster genre his own. The greatest gangster role of all - one that was eventually played by Marlon Brando - that of Vito Corleone in The Godfather, could have been Robinson's if Peter Bogdanovich had agreed to direct the film when he was offered the job by Paramount. Bogdanovich turned it down, however, and the job went to a promising young director by the name of Francis Ford Coppola.

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