Friday, August 12, 2011

The Vern looks closely at Sofia Coppola.....and her movies.

There are going to be people who will disagree with me on this,but I find Sofia Coppola to be one of the best directors out right now. Yes I would put her in the same ranks as Christopher Nolan and Darren Aronofsky(to name a few). She has a distinct visual style that you can see in each film and it doesn't matter where you start watching. You'll know right away that it's a Coppola picture. Now some of you may comment that her films are boring because all it has is people talking. Well if you are use to just action movies,you would be right. Coppola is not that type of director. She writes stories about character developments and does that not only through spoken dialogue, but also internal dialogue as well. There is a great moment in "Lost in Translation" when Bob Harris(Bill Murray) is taking pictures for the whiskey ad. He is cracking jokes and puns throughout the whole scene. but you can tell he feels isolated, and alone.

The Videovangaurd decides to take a look at this celebrated director's career.

The Movies.

 Lick The Star.

This 16 mm short was Sofia's film debut.  It story is about a group of girls who decide to start slowly poisoning the boys at their school after reading "Flowers in the Attic".  When someone outside the group mishears one of them talk about slavery.  The rest of the girls turn on her as well.  It's hard to comment on a movie that is only fourteen minutes long, but it was pretty good, and you can tell from this how well she is at directing young people.  If they did remake "The Breakfast Club" I would hope Miss Coppola would take the reign because she would make a very fascinating version.

Lick The Star from Haylley Elite on Vimeo.

The Virgin Suicides.

                                       (Theatrical Poster)

 The Virgin Suicides is about the lives of five girls and how they effected the boys in their town. The boys become obsessed wanting to know more about these woman but will never fully understand what they are going through.  I could explain to you the whole plot but this one is better if you make up your own decision about it.  Personally I liked it, because the performances were great, the visuals were awesome, and the soundtrack kicks ass.  Heart's "Crazy on You" has never looked better on film than it does here.  There is going to be discussions and debates about the end, and I'm not expecting everyone to love this movie. But keep in mind while watching this that the main characters are the boys not the girls.   The first lines spoken from one of the Lisbon sisters is "Obviously, you never been a 13 year old girl".  Men will never understand what goes on in the hearts and minds of women. No matter how hard we try.

(Clip: Paramount Classics)

Lost in Translation.

                                           (Golden Globe Poster)

Bill Murray turns in a stellar performance as Bob Harris in Sofia' 2nd and most well received film of her career.  Bob is an actor,  who has taken a role in a whiskey commercial in Japan.  It's obvious he doesn't want to be there, and he feels that his life is on a downward slope to complete blandness and un excitement.  In enters Charlotte(Scarlett Johanson) who is with her husband while he works.  The two start up as mutual acquaintances and fast become good friends.  In most movies these two would have sex, but Sofia never plays it at that angle, and yet you can feel that these two characters fully love each other very much.  This is easiest one of the funniest movies in 2003. There are alot of funny moments in this.

Marie Antoinette.

                                   (Theatrical Poster)

This is my personal favorite movie from Sofia's filmography,but many people have dismissed it which is a shame because I would put her visuals next to Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon"  She gets the look of France in 1768 better than I have seen in other movies.  A lot of people complained about her use of modern music , but that was just to get more of  an insight into what this girl was thinking.  I don't believe it was meant to be an exact historical representation.  Kirsten Dunst is great in this role of a young girl who is all of a sudden put into incredible power and marry a man she doesn't know.  How would you handle such great tasks at her age.  It's not an easy thing and I believe Sofia captured her turmoil and also her happiness quite well.

(Clip: Columbia Pictures)


                                     (Theatical Poster)

Miss Coppola's latest film feels like  a quasi sequel to her hit "Lost in Translation".  After all both movies feature an actor who is bored with life, a woman comes in to get him out of his rut, and they are both set in hotels.  The only thing that is lacking is a sense of humor which I did not find in this at all.   Strangely enough I never got bored with this, and will probably check it out again sometime.  Sofia has this way about the cinematography in her films I find interesting.  Hell she could film a movie that features nothing but a lamp and I would check it out.

(Theatrical Trailer)


Yes I find her to be very beautiful.  Here are some photographic reasons why.


  1. Wow, nice work. I'm a big Sofia fan. In fact, she became the inaugural piece of my Auteurs series.

    BTW, what's your take about her next film that's coming next year in The Bling Ring?

    Personally, the concept based on the actual theft thing doesn't seem promising but the cast itself does make it a lot more than what Sofia is suggesting. I have mixed feelings about it.

  2. Thank you very much. After reading your article on her that is a huge compliment. As for The Bling Ring. I read articles about Sofia wanting to cast Emma Watson in the lead role but I don't have a solid opinion about it just yet. I do like the premise though

  3. Great post! Sofia Coppola is one of my most favourite directors.
    Her remaking Breakfast Club will be very interesting. I have high hopes for Bling Ring. Btw I don't think Emma Watson has the lead role... she's just the ones in all the paparazzi pictures :D
    And yes, Marie Antoinette is definitely a great companion piece for something like Barry Lyndon, though not as tedious :P

  4. Thank you very much for the comment.

    "The Bling Ring" looks like it will be her first foray into making a crime film. I can't wait

    I had no idea she is remaking "The Breakfast Club". I don't know how to feel about that. I know the original is a bit dated but it's such a classic movie. Then again I could be holding on to much to the past. I wish she would just do her own projects instead of taking on a studio property, but she could do a really good job at updating the material. Keep me posted.

  5. No she isn't. You suggested it in the Lick the Star para. I'm just agreeing :P
    I love The Breakfast Club too and think it's perfect, but a Sofia Coppola Breakfast Club will be cool :)

  6. Oh. I haven't looked at this article in a while. I'm usually against remakes but her version would be one I would check out. Thanks for clearing that up with me.

  7. Cool article! ooh I haven't seen that short films or the commercials a fan of Sofia Coppola's work I feel I'm missing out!

    From what I've heard/read in interviews, Scarlett Johanson WAS pretty much Sofia Coppola in "Lost in Translation"

    Sofia's soundtracks, love them too

    1. Thanks for reading Chris. Yeah I believe Miss Johanson was Coppola and Mr. Ribisi was her ex husband Spike Jonze. I also thought Anna Farris was doing an impersonation of Cameron Diaz whom Spike worked with on "Being John Malkovich" I'm sure this is all just speculation but damn is it fun.

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