Case Study : Sofia Coppola


Why I have never heard of any female movie director, I wonder ? For that, I've come across Sofia Coppola, and did a little research on her. Made a list of all her movies and asked my sister to find it for me and spent the whole week watching one movie per night before sleeping. It's a great twisted finding, I have't done this since the Life of Pi. 

List of her movie :
The Virgin Suicide (1999) feat. Kristen Dunst & Josh Harnett
Lost in Translation (2003) feat. Scarlet Johansson & Bill Murray
Marie Antoinette (2006) feat. Kristen Dunst
Somewhere (2010) feat. Elle Fanning & Stephen Dorff
The Bling Ring (2013) feat. Emma Watson

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Please read more if you want to read about Sofia Coppola, my findings and also my thoughts. It were all based on my personal opinions, without any knowledge of filming, so this would be a little raw.

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1) Great inter-connected spiderweb that I found out :
Her father is Francis Coppola, a movie director, his famous work is The Godfather. Her brother is also a movie director , Roman Coppola, whom directed the Moonrise Kingdom and a co-writer of the Darjeeling Limited. She is also the cousin of Nicholas Cage, the lead singer of Rooney : Robert Coppola Schwartzman (who acted in her movie : The Virgin Suicide) and Jason Schwartzman (who acted in  Marie Antoinette & the Darjeeling Limited). Almost everyone in her family is doing something in the film industry.

This is a huge family business ! A serious nepotism case of "The Coppola Family" in Hollywood business. For that, Nicholas Cage changed his name to avoid being known as the famous Francis Coppola's nephew, his real name is Nicolas Kim Coppola.

And that connection lead me to Wes Anderson, a friend of their family.
Wes Anderson is currently in my case-study. 

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2) Her movie style :

Aesthetically beautiful.
Most of her movies were pastel-colored, very soft and simple. It was obvious in the Virgin Suicide and Marie Antoinette. She was very particular about that. It was quite different from Wes Anderson; whom love bright-yellowish color scheme.

Great modern song list.
I love how pop songs suddenly blasted in random scenes like in Marie Antoinette even though the movie was not in the same era. It sounded right because of the situation and it may give me an easy way to feel connected to the story.

Theme : Abandonment & loneliness , someone who seemed to be lost and felt alienated, a self-crisis. The Virgin Suicide was about depression & teenage suicide,
Lost in Translation was about the separation of spouses & being in an isolated environment,
Marie Antoinette was about having to try to blend in with the society,
Somewhere was about mid life crisis & abandonment.
I guess Sofia has a personal taste of being alone.

Lack of story, but show a great deal of emotion.
Her movies were mostly slow and silent. You'll spend more time watching them doing nothing at all i.e ; staring at something, waiting for someone, breathing silently, and such. But you can get what the character was feeling because it was full of emotions. But it was a bit boring, yes. And depressing.

Same faces.
There were a lot of her family involvement in her movies, her brother as the co-writer and director, her cousins as main actor and supporting characters.
Kristen Dunst was the main actress in both movies : The Virgin Suicide & Marie Antoinette.

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PS : Personally I don't like her style much but it was a nice case study nonetheless. I am waiting for her last movie this year : The Bling Ring, because of Emma Watson, yes. 

PS2 : I need to find other female director. 



Update 2015 :
Sofia Coppola has signed on to direct a live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid.
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