Saturday, March 08, 2008

My Dinner With... Sofia Coppola

So this is a cute lil' dream scenario. A fantasy dinner with the movie figure, past or present, of your choice. This has been doing the rounds on the blogosphere, and yesterday Dave at Victim of the Time tagged me. He wants to dine with the legendary Jeanne Moreau (a very admirable choice, she RULES in Jules et Jim). I didn't have to think about my choice too long. It's the filmmaker I most admire at the moment, and whose films I simply couldn't live without.

1. Pick a single person past or present who works in the film industry who you'd like to have dinner with and tell us why you chose this person.

When I sat down to watch The Godfather Part III I certainly wasn’t expecting to fall in love with Mary, the naïve daughter of mafia boss Michael Corleone. As a lovesick teenager, Sofia Coppola, daughter of director Francis Ford Coppola, gives Mary a touching resonance, her performance an accomplished, intuitive and incredibly effective one.

OK, so I’m not that deluded. But the fact that I can comment in a rather throwaway fashion about Sofia Coppola’s involvement in the film, a complete failure in casting and acting – and the only reason prior to 1999, aside from her familial connections, that anyone in film circles would refer to her -- is testament to how she has evolved into such a seminal creative figure in current cinema, and why she would unquestionably be my dream dinner date.

Her vision as a writer and director and the common themes and attributes of her films (youth, adolescence, women perplexed about the world and its expectation of them, avant-garde 80’s music to match her unique style) marks her as more auteurial than even her father, who despite having a definite visual style, enjoyed success in a diverse array of films. She may still have some way to go before eclipsing her father’s hugely impressive filmography, but the products of her fascinating mind thus far: the sinister yet luscious The Virgin Suicides (1999), the ravishing tale of a girl who happened to be a queen, Marie Antoinette (2006), and the life-changing (at least for me) encounter between two lost souls in a Tokyo hotel, Lost In Translation (2003), an on-screen relationship that remains one of the richest and most honest I’ve ever seen; are enough to ensure that she has inherited the filmic intelligence and desire of he before her.

2. Set the table for your dinner. What would you eat? Would it be in a home or at a restaurant? And what would you wear? Feel free to elaborate on the details.

If Sofia has had even an ounce of the Italian upbringing her name suggests, then I imagine she's had enough home cooking to last a lifetime. I also wouldn't bestow an Italian meal upon her, and I think she could be someone that values fresh ingredients and such, so I wouldn't thrust in her face anything English like Fish and Chips. In the end I'd probably opt to take her somewhere that serves lovely light, fresh meals, which would require me to do some research, since there's little hope of that where I live. I'm thinking chicken, salad etc. The dinner would take place around 6 or 7pm and we'd definitely drink cocktails. I'm thinking mojitos primarily.

I'd probably wear something pretty tight (why change the habit of a lifetime?) and would try to be a little unpredictable, or at least unorthodox, since that's a big thing behind my love for Sofia in the first place.

3. List five thoughtful questions you would ask this person during dinner.


1. What does Bob whisper to Charlotte at the end of Lost In Translation? I know that this really is whatever you want, or need him to say. The beauty of not knowing is that you can interpret it for yourself, so maybe the question should be, What do you want him to say to Charlotte?

2. Which do you prefer? The Godfather Part I or II? I actually think The Conversation is a masterpiece, and the best film her father did, but separating the first two Godfather installments was a difficult one for me. I'm swayed by the ending of the second, which is so powerfully written and composed. We can safely say she's not gonna say the 3rd, right?

3. Disconnection and discontentment feature in all of your films. Is it fair to say that, having worked in various fields, and seemingly non-committal about which aspect of film you want to focus on -- whether it be writing, producing, directing, composing or otherwise -- you're a restless person?

4. You have such an amazing and diverse taste in music. Which artists working now are likely to find themselves in a Coppola film of the future?

5. It's been three and a half years since I've seen Lost In Translation, and although I've matured and changed a hell of a lot in that time, I think I'd have to ask her what Charlotte asks Bob: does it get easier?

4. When all is said and done, select six bloggers to pass this Meme along to. Link back to Lazy Eye Theatre, so that people know the mastermind behind this Meme.


Goatdog, Pete, Yaseen, Tim, Rural Juror and Zed are all getting tagged, although they shouldn't really need an incentive to participate in such a fun activity as this ;-)

1 comment:

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