Five Favorite Films

Five Favorite Films with Sofia Coppola

Plus, the Oscar-winning writer-director chats about her latest film, Somewhere.

by | December 27, 2010 | Comments

Sofia Coppola

“I never expected to win a prize for anything for my films,” says writer-director Sofia Coppola, who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2004 for Lost in Translation and whose latest, Somewhere, recently took home the Best Picture prize at the Venice Film Festival. When RT caught up with her recently, the quiet, modestly spoken Coppola seemed humbled by the attention, preferring to talk about vintage camera lenses and sound-mixing Ferrari engines rather than the Awards-season circus.

Indeed, the image that opens Somewhere — Stephen Dorff’s Hollywood drifter doing laps in his Ferrari in the desert — was the impetus for the film. “I imagine these guys with sports car collections, they have to bring it to some track outside the city to have to be able to drive them,” says Coppola, “so I imagined him in the middle of nowhere, kind of going around in circles, to introduce the state he’s in. I started with him and the Ferrari, and then I thought about the Chateau Marmont and the stories of people I knew, or things I’ve heard, around there, and sort of put them all together.”

“I pictured Stephen early on, just as kind of this lost, bad boy LA actor,” the director continues. “I just felt like he was the right guy for the part; I’d met him and I knew him over the years and I always thought he was a good actor.” It’s a subtle, affecting performance from Dorff, whose character — a bored actor adrift in the purgatory of his own fame — comprises a lot of wordless, long takes. “Stephen’s so sweet that I felt like that would help make you care about watching the character,” says Coppola. “He’s so flawed that you could easily not be interested, but I felt that he’s got so much heart that he could connect people to it.”

Curiously, Coppola shot the film using old Zeiss lenses once used by her father, Francis. It’s perhaps ironic that Coppola senior is now once of digital’s biggest advocates, and at one point had even wondered why his daughter would want to film on archaic stock. “I think he appreciates it now,” she laughs, “but I remember he and George Lucas a while back saying, ‘Oh, you have to start shooting on digital — why are you using film?'”

Well, that explains the first of her five favorite films…

Rumble Fish (1983, 70% Tomatometer)

Rumble Fish

I love that it’s an art film about teenagers. I just love the way that it’s shot — I love those old lenses, those Zeiss lenses; they have a softer feel. [Coppola and her DP, Harris Savvides, used the lenses from Rumble Fish to shoot Somewhere.] Roman [Coppola, her brother] and I are just sentimental about film.

Breathless (1960, 96% Tomatometer)


The Godard version. [On the similarities between the moving car jump cuts in Somewhere:] I guess I was going through that whole New Wave thing… coming from a documentary background.

Sixteen Candles (1984,
87% Tomatometer)

Sixteen Candles

That was one of my favorite films when I was growing up, and I’ll still watch it every time it’s on.

Lolita (1962,
97% Tomatometer)


I love Kubrick. I love the way he put that film together, the way it’s filmed. Just some of the shots he did there, like the reverse shot in the car window with the monster.

The Last Picture Show (1971, 100% Tomatometer)

The Last Picture Show

It’s just a beautiful film.

Somewhere is in theaters this week. Click here to read our chat with Stephen Dorff , who also talks his five favorite films.

Tag Cloud

stand-up comedy Winners a nightmare on elm street book adaptation Freeform Box Office superhero trailers witnail Biopics El Rey blockbusters remakes Interview series Film Festival toy story ABC TLC Bravo Vudu Super Bowl romantic comedy Tumblr revenge game show E3 Captain marvel Musicals YouTube Elton John laika 007 Writers Guild of America Mindy Kaling HBO Go james bond green book quibi comiccon television Tubi San Diego Comic-Con X-Men sequel critics Lionsgate Countdown Photos all-time Opinion Superheroe canceled TV shows Mary poppins Winter TV DC streaming service 2020 new star wars movies festival Rom-Com Netflix high school political drama MCU children's TV Amazon Studios thriller Emmys Epix cults IFC Films cancelled television comics Nominations cartoon Fall TV GoT christmas movies razzies Cannes french doctor who Shondaland LGBT supernatural nfl ESPN medical drama screen actors guild WGN Oscars Rocketman Lifetime See It Skip It Arrowverse DC Universe spider-man Comedy Central Sundance TV Calendar 2017 ABC Family Podcast ratings Apple TV Plus kong Paramount Nickelodeon monster movies anthology award winner FOX reboot Paramount Plus cancelled Pop 2019 Disney+ Disney Plus Hear Us Out CNN 93rd Oscars Fox Searchlight Pet Sematary book hidden camera History Awards Tour Stephen King Star Trek spy thriller SXSW Pop TV science fiction Netflix Christmas movies Nat Geo venice Holidays Starz harry potter Binge Guide Cartoon Network Showtime Ellie Kemper tv talk Brie Larson Amazon CBS Holiday Disney Channel Sundance Now BBC One Crackle The Arrangement Cosplay sports Martial Arts New York Comic Con The Academy RT21 Extras films NBC Infographic Best and Worst BET Country The Witch 2015 parents First Look cats godzilla Warner Bros. Rocky Masterpiece Columbia Pictures nbcuniversal Pride Month hollywood versus Exclusive Video superman The Walking Dead travel Acorn TV Marvel Studios classics American Society of Cinematographers worst movies 2018 PaleyFest Sundance news documentary hist Heroines Funimation TNT The Walt Disney Company king kong social media TruTV Quiz Schedule anime DC Comics jurassic park mockumentary TCA Awards concert GLAAD adaptation IFC mutant Animation sag awards stoner war stop motion Travel Channel robots Television Critics Association 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Women's History Month popular Tarantino police drama Teen reviews archives dramedy psycho comic ViacomCBS 72 Emmy Awards obituary VH1 south america saw adventure slashers crossover politics 21st Century Fox BBC America docudrama WarnerMedia Television Academy Horror hispanic Spectrum Originals Fantasy indiana jones discovery VICE Ovation TBS name the review E! scorecard australia sequels A24 Crunchyroll football women historical drama Ghostbusters italian Discovery Channel Logo festivals 2021 what to watch CBS All Access 20th Century Fox crime drama animated emmy awards Alien boxoffice latino TCA TV Land Amazon Prime Video talk show Broadway Walt Disney Pictures free movies HBO Max 45 Shudder Character Guide Baby Yoda Dark Horse Comics canceled OneApp Marvel Television Family YA toronto strong female leads psychological thriller A&E MTV documentaries GIFs Polls and Games deadpool teaser asian-american Hulu indie Superheroes kaiju TCM screenings PlayStation TV Lucasfilm cinemax 99% Amazon Prime Mary Tyler Moore game of thrones ABC Signature Year in Review Paramount Network satire natural history vampires golden globe awards fresh based on movie theme song streaming sitcom Musical true crime period drama Kids & Family technology BET Awards Chernobyl crime thriller Endgame pirates of the caribbean Avengers Apple TV+ Legendary rotten movies we love YouTube Red Adult Swim cancelled TV series criterion cooking 2016 elevated horror cancelled TV shows Western best Black Mirror universal monsters worst blaxploitation Universal batman FXX scary movies twilight Pirates Mary Poppins Returns cars ID blockbuster ghosts jamie lee curtis TV renewals ITV Mystery spanish YouTube Premium chucky Food Network Trailer zombies Summer Academy Awards finale President Star Wars die hard Comic Book SundanceTV Music dogs black dark Hallmark Rock boxing CMT halloween Pixar Awards nature DGA romance Set visit SDCC miniseries Fox News Spring TV Apple spinoff fast and furious transformers telelvision Chilling Adventures of Sabrina RT History spain MSNBC BAFTA dceu rt archives Turner Classic Movies binge Disney Plus Spike Election LGBTQ independent docuseries Grammys TCA Winter 2020 Sony Pictures foreign dragons franchise directors Mudbound zero dark thirty Sci-Fi kids PBS TIFF cops child's play First Reviews National Geographic halloween tv Britbox Turner Marathons The CW Black History Month APB Reality Competition rotten DirecTV 24 frames unscripted Drama movies Trophy Talk The Purge Marvel prank Valentine's Day composers singing competition space VOD Trivia serial killer USA Network Anna Paquin BBC diversity Sneak Peek Christmas disaster richard e. Grant TCA 2017 video on demand Creative Arts Emmys japanese NYCC zombie Disney comic books Comics on TV 71st Emmy Awards Action Thanksgiving OWN 4/20 Video Games joker aliens Syfy Tomatazos HBO biography heist movie Classic Film casting dc movie AMC Red Carpet werewolf rom-coms facebook Song of Ice and Fire crime Hallmark Christmas movies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Reality Comedy video FX on Hulu Watching Series Toys comedies justice league breaking bad FX Film Esquire Lifetime Christmas movies Emmy Nominations mission: impossible CW Seed Premiere Dates renewed TV shows golden globes Disney streaming service Certified Fresh spanish language USA Peacock TV One