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)



Breathless

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)



Lolita

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

Masterpiece Premiere Dates Paramount Network cops Acorn TV biography war dramedy NBC Horror Star Trek Superheroes Musical E! political drama MTV Star Wars sequel PBS FXX YA AMC 2019 adaptation CBS All Access TBS Food Network TLC anime Valentine's Day IFC Films Sony Pictures Best and Worst television Nominations Lifetime Emmys SDCC Comedy RT History Marvel Thanksgiving WGN TCA natural history serial killer Starz 2015 Polls and Games what to watch El Rey Lionsgate dc discovery finale Syfy crime drama disaster 24 frames Video Games 2017 Trailer miniseries Britbox 007 hist zero dark thirty Mudbound Amazon Prime RT21 Sundance crime thriller YouTube Red Election Spring TV Esquire Oscars San Diego Comic-Con spy thriller strong female leads anthology Set visit Year in Review festivals nature adventure Crackle Winter TV X-Men Hulu Disney Channel theme song Walt Disney Pictures vampires New York Comic Con Writers Guild of America TV Amazon Podcast dceu Apple Character Guide Grammys IFC Film Festival Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 2018 science fiction Showtime SundanceTV travel thriller TNT mutant social media The Arrangement police drama Black Mirror Reality Competition zombies Nat Geo Teen GIFs TIFF CNN Christmas Calendar Universal LGBTQ BET FOX Music TV Land USA DC streaming service Paramount 45 Rock Warner Bros. Ovation ITV GLAAD supernatural Biopics cats A&E Epix crime singing competition sports Song of Ice and Fire romance sitcom Elton John DirecTV TCA 2017 Super Bowl Tumblr HBO Kids & Family Disney DGA space 20th Century Fox crossover Shudder Brie Larson Infographic cooking teaser unscripted based on movie Extras Watching Series Sneak Peek Mary Poppins Returns Countdown 2016 Netflix green book medical drama award winner Fox News psychological thriller Mary poppins ABC docudrama aliens Pop Action YouTube Premium Sci-Fi Musicals Martial Arts CBS golden globes CW Seed E3 The CW Pixar politics MCU National Geographic Shondaland Mystery Pet Sematary OWN Anna Paquin casting transformers doctor who First Look historical drama Photos Tarantino Ghostbusters Rom-Com The Witch Fantasy Holidays PaleyFest FX Certified Fresh mockumentary boxoffice diversity robots comic Dark Horse Comics Marathons ratings TCM President Box Office Mindy Kaling GoT Vudu Drama Winners Spike DC Universe Schedule comiccon Nickelodeon Summer Superheroe elevated horror zombie technology Comic Book Country blaxploitation period drama Bravo Reality harry potter BBC APB Adult Swim Columbia Pictures Fall TV talk show NYCC Interview justice league DC Comics VH1 streaming Creative Arts Emmys witnail binge See It Skip It Spectrum Originals Stephen King Cannes dragons Mary Tyler Moore composers American Society of Cinematographers MSNBC Women's History Month Trophy Talk CMT ESPN Awards cults Awards Tour ABC Family Western Pirates spider-man Rocky VICE Tomatazos Logo Lucasfilm Comedy Central 21st Century Fox Heroines cinemax Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Sundance Now richard e. Grant Ellie Kemper Quiz true crime Cartoon Network Red Carpet Animation Freeform Rocketman psycho SXSW History USA Network Opinion jamie lee curtis facebook Toys Captain marvel Trivia Cosplay BBC America Comics on TV TruTV