“After each project, stuff ended up in boxes: a mix of references, notes, scripts, and photos from set. I took photos with my Contax T3 and asked photographer friends to come visit. As the boxes started to pile up over the years, and enough time had passed, I finally opened them up and started to look through them. I decided to make a book to have them all in one place. I hope you enjoy the scrapbook of my film work and maybe find it helpful to see how these projects come together”.
When Sofia Coppola was studying fine art at CalArts, she found it difficult to figure out what she wanted to make. She knew she wanted to be an artist but had tried painting and soon realised that she wasn’t very good at it. She then experimented with photography where she would make Xerox magazines. Soon after, she was hired by Fumihiro Hayashi to photograph for his magazine, Dune. This experience helped Coppola to develop and trust her own eye.
In 1998, she made a short black-and-white film, shot on 16mm, about a seventh-grade girl navigating the social hierarchies of middle school. “I was nervous, but knowing a little about lots of elements, like photography and design and music, was helpful. I found I knew how to put them all together to make something that I had in mind.” After reading Jeffrey Eugenides’s novel The Virgin Suicides, Coppola really connected with the material and that’s when she knew she wanted to be a director.
“I became interested in imagining how this world would translate to film”. All of Sofia’s films share the common quality: a particular world where a girl is always at the centre, trying to navigate it. From Lost in Translation through to the upcoming Priscilla, about the life of Priscilla Presley amidst Elvis’s world, this is the story that has always intrigued the filmmaker.
Sofia Coppola Archive covers the period from 1999 to 2023. With its gorgeous pink cover – the shade of a Ladurée rose macaron – designed in a scrapbook style, it’s a stylish nod to the artist’s earlier Xerox creations. This fascinating journey through all of her eight films is akin to landing in the middle of the most enchanting real life mood board. Sofia’s subtlety, sophistication, and attention to detail, is her hallmark as a filmmaker. As is her dreamy aesthetic backed by an always killer soundtrack.
“Growing up, that was the goal: my father [the filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola] would say that the most important thing is to make personal films. I was raised with the idea of auteurism, of having a distinct point of view. And I still believe that is how you become an artist. What’s the whole point of doing a movie unless it’s something that only you could make?”.
Courtesy of Lynn Hirschberg for her text.
Sofia Coppola Archive is published by MACK.
To purchase a copy of Sophia Coppola Archive, please visit here