Monday 14 May 2012

The Ultimate Sofia Coppola List

           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.

5) Somewhere

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 leave 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 a film, one 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!


  1. I love love LOVE Sofia Coppola! She is my second favourite director. My favourite films of hers would go:
    Lost in Translation
    The Virgin Suicides
    Marie Antoinette
    ...mind you, they're all quite close together in rankings. They're all extremely beautiful films!

    1. I love love love her too! I thought The Virgin Suicides would be number one for you :O
      Yes they are extremely beautiful :D

    2. I just decided that I like Lost in Translation a bit better. But there's like a piece of hair between them!

    3. Yeah there's like a piece of hair between The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation for me too, though in the other way :P

  2. Wonderful list. Had no idea she has other work other than movies. Going to bookmark this post to check out it later.

    1. Thank you. Yeah I sort of look forward to her other stuff almost as much as I look forward to her films :D
      Thanks for commenting.

  3. You are right, Sofia Coppola's movies are nice, dreamy, girly and always feature wonderful female characters, but I was never a fan...some of her movies are a bit boring and pretentious- Somewhere is a good example for it. Look, I know what she was trying to portray and I know there are the little details of the story and the characters that make the movie great, and I usually notice them, but for this one, I was very bored. Maria Antoinette was slightly better, and I have yet to see Virgin Suicides...I hope the last one will score her some points from my behalf. Great list either way. That White Stripes video is fantastic!

    1. Her films are extremely divisive. I guess you're at the other end of the spectrum. Do see The Virgin Suicides soon!
      It is amazing, isn't it?

  4. Very nice article I liked that you added a lot of her commercials and music videos. I agree with your choice for number one. That is my favorite film of hers. I also wrote a post of this director and would love your opinion on it.

    1. Thank you. Always great to meet another Sofia fan and extremely rare to meet another Marie Anotinette fan :D

      Thanks for commenting and following :D

  5. That is a great list...

    Yet, as the ultimate Sofia fan... here's how I would rank the following:

    1. Lost in Translation
    2. Kevin Shields-City Girl
    3. The White Stripes-I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself
    4. Somewhere
    5. The Virgin Suicides
    6. City of Life Fragrence
    7. The Flaming Lips-This Here Giraffe
    8. Air-Playground Love (co-directed with Roman Coppola)
    9. Miss Dior Cherie
    10. Marie Antoinette
    11. Lick the Star
    12. Marni for H&M
    13. Walk Mink-Shine
    14. New York Stories-Life Without Zoe (screenplay)

    I will definitely have The Bling Ring in my top 10 most anticipated films for 2013.

    1. Thanks :)
      Your list is very good too. I didn't consider City Girl and Playground Love but they'll be up there too. And I only went with her directorial stuff.
      Bling Ring is definitely in my most anticipated films for 2013.
      Thanks for commenting.

  6. Everyone who needs an introduction to her work whould go here. I didn't know she did some commercials.

    My favorite film by Sofia is Marie Antoinette, just like yours. It may be mot her best work globally (like for everyone else), but for me it is!

    1. I remember seeing the Miss Dior Cherie commercial and going gaga over it. It's so perfect.

      Yes Marie Antoinette ftw! :D

  7. Great post! I really love her style and how unique and delicate her movies are. Marie Antoinette is very underrated and it's such a great film. That White Stripes video is just fantastic, I remember listening to this song on repeat back in the day.

    1. Thank you!
      Yeah I love her style too.
      I have started listening to it on repeat again, because of this post! Somebody stop me!!

  8. Ok I'm just hopping from post to post on your blog, so much great stuff here!

    I think I actually rate Lost in Translation higher as a film on its own, but Virgin Suicides is a bigger accomplishment because its easily the best movie adaptation of a book I have ever watched.

    So the movie's in my top 3, because the book is in my top 3 novels, and the author Jeffrey Eugenides is easily in my top 3 favorite writers. Plus she introduced me to Air. All of which means at the very mention of Ms Coppola, I go weak in the knees.

    Last Sunday, The Hindu Sunday Supplement had a massive picture of her because apparently she started wearing pyjamas everywhere as a fashion statement, and now everybodys doing it? I was so excited my Dad had to slap me a couple of times to tone things down.

    1. Haha thanks for reading it man :)

      I have never read the book completely. I started it, but had to return it to the library or something. It sounds amazing though. I can't help but rate Virgin Suicides higher than Lost in Translation, because it sort of mystifies me as much as the boys in the film. Like you just can never forget it, you know..

      Hahaha, man Sofia Coppola is awesome! Were you going to start pajamas everywhere too?? :P