It's Sofia Coppola's 41st birthday today. She is one of my most favourite directors, and definitely my favourite female director. Her films have this wonderfully romantic and lost aspect to them that make them endlessly dreamy. I just love it. The girls and women depicted in her films are exactly like that too, which is why I've always believed that no female can look prettier than in a Sofia Coppola movie.
I was going to do a mini-reviews post on her films, but have now decided to do a sort of list with all of her directorial work, including short films, advertisements and music videos. This also makes it more interesting since a list with only the movies becomes redundant with a Favourite 100 Movies List like mine. I couldn't find her first short film Bed, Bath and Beyond anywhere. Also the music videos to "City Girl" by Kevin Shields and "Playground Love" by Air are basically just clips from the movies they were in- Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides respectively. The latter does include singing pieces of chewing gum, but yeah, I'm not considering that.
11) Shine by Walt Mink
This was all the way back in 1993. The video quality isn't very good, but one can see the theme of rich, bored, beautiful people that will be unique to her films later on. It was edited by her ex-husband Spike Jonze, who was apparently the basis for the Giovanni Ribisi's highly annoying character in Lost in Translation.
10) This Here Giraffe by The Flaming Lips
I'm not that well-acquainted with the music of The Flaming Lips, but I like the idea of these monochrome-clad rockstars visiting the zoo on a nice sunny day. Also the bed looks like it belongs to a very young girl. Also it has Leslie Hayman, who plays the Therese Lisbon in The Virgin Suicides- arguably the sister with the smallest role.
9) City of Light fragrance by Christian Dior, starring Natalie Portman
This has a kind of Audrey Hepburn-ish aura about it. Miss Portman looks gorgeous and I think Alden Ehrenreich is adorable, but still, the whole product ends up being a little bland.
8) Marni for H&M starring Imogene Poots
It is set in the beautiful Marrakesh, Morocco. I love the colours in this ad. Imogene Poots looks lovely.
7) Lick the Star
To explain this, I will use a set of quotes from another of Sofia's films- "What are you doing here, honey? You're not even old enough to know how bad life gets. - Obviously doctor, you've never been a thirteen year-old girl." While I've never experienced the "clique" system of an American high school, there are things even I find relatable in this short film. Also, I love the badassery of the lead character when we first see her. The second part is here.
6) I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself by the White Stripes
I'm not a Kate Moss fan, but even I can't deny the pure sexiness she exudes here. However it's not perverse... I think it's kind of sad. With the title of the song and how it is sung, it really feels like a lost soul trying to figure out her life in a most free sort of way. I really love it.
Many say this is the film that all of her other films were leading up to. As a star-child herself, Sofia's first-hand experience with all the loneliness and pointlessness that a Hollywood celebrity and their children face is an obvious basis for this film. It is a critical look at such a life, but her films ultimately look so gorgeous that it takes a while to get to that. Still, the malaise that her films are known for is most pronounced in this. I love Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning in it.
4) Lost in Translation
This is the most celebrated of all her films yet, and rightly so. I don't think the meeting of two kindred spirits has never been shown more beautifully than in this film. The performances by both the leads is excellent, though just the little subtleties in everything that Bill Murray does leaves me speechless. He should have won that Oscar. Scarlett Johannson's Charlotte is the character most of us connect with the best. Also that inaudible whisper... sigh.
3) Miss Dior Chérie fragrance by Christian Dior, starring Maryna Linchuck
This is my most favourite commercial ever. I want to live in it, for real. It's so pretty and girly! I love the liveliness in it, and everything the enchanting Maryna Linchuck does.
2) The Virgin Suicides
Ugh the Lisbon sisters and their eternal mystery that will never cease to baffle and entice the narrators or us. It's a very ambiguous, dreamy film, but there is a certain magic to it. I wish I could make something like this. I also wish Sofia revisits this kind of film, that has a certain amount of enigma and cheekiness to it.
1) Marie Antoinette
My very unique opinion, but I can't help it. With all the grandeur and the anachronistic pop tunes and American accents and everything that is oh so pretty, I absolutely adore this film. Kirsten Dunst embodies the lavishness and the confusion of the young and doomed monarch. People say it is too shallow- it can be, but only because it was expected of someone like the titular character. Also one of my most favourite endings ever. I think every director does one film like this- plain ambitious and well, selfish in a way. This is Sofia Coppola's and I love every minute of it.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed it.
Also, A Very Happy Birthday to Sofia Coppola.
Can't wait for Bling Ring!