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November 15th, 2007, 03:03 PM
I'm doing a research topic on sofia coppola and I really want to know what you all think. Make sure to talk about her three feature films: Virgin Suicides (2000), Lost In Translation (2003), Marie Antoinette (2006).

I'll give you some questions to get you started.

Do you feel that Sofia Coppola could be secribed as an autor? (someone who defies hollywood conventions in the desire to make film art.)

Do you feel that there are any specific traits or styles that are apparent in all three of Coppola's Feature films?

Do you feel that Sofia Coppola (as the third woman ever to be nominated for an Oscar for best director for Lost in Translation) is typical of female directors in general?

These are just a few but ask your own questions too and i'll see if i can answer them for you lol xxx

Fung Koo
November 15th, 2007, 04:41 PM
I'll bite...

Virgin Suicides is the least stylistically typical, but then it was her first feature-length effort. She established her soundtrack style in this film, which is her most consistent attribute. I would say that it's her least successful film in that it has the weakest delivery. The points remain highly elusive, the plot line tends to ramble in its bookishness, and it has a penchant for the over-the-top that often overpowers the serious message of those moments and instead seems like silliness. While that silliness in one sense enhances the girlishness of the sisters, it does little to draw out sympathy/empathy, and instead kept me at a critical distances whereas I wanted to be more drawn in.

Lost in Translation was extremely well put together, primarily because of the simplicity of how it was filmed. It runs like a single camera documentary, it's narratively tight, and it uses the visual medium to tell the story without relying on unnecessary voice over. It simply shows you how it is and lets you make up your mind how to feel. This film was a dramatic step in the right direction for Coppola, retained her element of musical style, and continued an obvious concern with 3rd wave feminist themes.

Marie Antoinette was as deftly produced as LiT. Different story, but told with the exact same level of honesty and attention to the visual. The use of modern songs in the soundtrack highlighted the feminist element brilliantly, fully evoking sentiment and emotion both for the characters and the audience.

Is Coppola an auteur? Too early to tell. With a larger body of work there would be more to say. She's an early director with a lot of promise and distinctive style, for sure. But she is also clearly shooting from a particular style-group with an established history.

Auteur isn't simply about defying conventions though... It's also about owning your own conventions. For example Julie Taymor's "Across the Universe" is classically Julie Taymor, but is also highly reminiscent of Baz Luhrman. I'd not classify either as specifically auteur's, but they do belong to a stylistic movement, for sure.

Is Coppola a typical female director? Yeah, she definitely makes chick stuff. But not in the derogatory sense. She's in the high-up boat with Julie Taymor.

November 16th, 2007, 01:09 AM
Do you feel that Sofia Coppola (as the third woman ever to be nominated for an Oscar for best director for Lost in Translation) is typical of female directors in general?

You might find it of interest,to contrast LIT with Zoe Cassevette's Broken English.

Both the directors and films are of a similar pedigree.
Both are daughters of successful filmmakers-Francis Ford Coppola and John Cassevettes respectively.

November 16th, 2007, 10:04 AM
Julie Taymor's "Across the Universe" is classically Julie Taymor

I think thats right - Coppola might have her own kind of calling card being made - one thing i realised when watching all three films is that there was a theme of lonliness throughout all of them

TVS - all five sisters are thoroughly isolated and deprived of any physical social interaction.

LIT - Bill Murphy really got down that sense of cultural and language barrier and being entirely alone despite being surrounded by people.

MA - the portrait of Marie Antoinette here i think is perfect - the idea that Dunst gets across is perfevtly clear - MA wants someone to notice her and when they don't she plays up lol its the typical teenager angst for attention in a romantic time period.

Perhaps Coppola has done this accidently or maybe its a recurring theme thats close to coppola and so is coming out in her films.

November 17th, 2007, 01:13 PM
you mean Bill Murray right?

I've only seen Lost in Translation of those 3, and only parts of it, but I definitely liked what I saw (hard not to like seeing Scarlett Johannsen though)

(or Bill Murray but for totally different reasons!)

I think the biggest defiance of Hollywood convention in that movie that I saw was that scene near the end where he whispers something to her and we don't get to know what. The only other time I've seen something like that was in Ronin how they never revealed what was in the case, but that to me seems like a very different statement given the contexts involved.

Whatever. I'm not a movie critic but I do love my opinion lol.

November 18th, 2007, 03:33 PM
thanks for the heads up - yeah I meant murray not murphy duh silly me :p
you're right about it breaking conventions too - the bar scene isn't the only one where the audience doesn't get the full picture - its like that in virgin suicides a bit too cos even though the audience know the sisters are depressed they don't really know how depressed and theres a lot hidden from the audience.

November 27th, 2007, 05:51 AM
Is there anything that Sofia Coppola is / isn't doing do you think?

if she's not an auteur yet do you think its possible that she will become one?

is it possible that all the good press that she's had as a director is simply a reflection of the fame of her father Francis Ford Coppola?

November 27th, 2007, 10:10 AM
The "filmmaker as auteur" concept is one that has really ceased to have relevance anyway. If she becomes more successful, her films will probably less reflect a personal vision than now. Look at all her father's films -do they reflect a singular vision?
One From the Heart? Peggy Sue Got Married? The Cotton Club?