The Face May 2000, "Do You Remember The First Time" shot by Corinne Day, Text by Sofia Coppola
I remember the first time I saw the Virgin Suicides. My mates and I, we had rented it from this poky little video store in a sleepy suburban shopping village where we had also gotten the candy we would munch and the hot chicken and chips that would be forgotten about. I can't even remember what i was that made us take it off the shelves - our other rentals that day included the abysmal horror film "fear dot com" and never been kissed.. so our mood was, as ever, inscrutable (as teenager's moods often are). What moved me about the film was how beautiful it was, even in sadness. How hypnotic it was. And how, bizarrely, even in all its artifice it seemed so very, very real.
This weekend I took myself off and saw Sofia Coppola's Somewhere. For lack of friends who would see it with me - and because I quite enjoy going to the movies by myself - I sat there alone in the cinema and revelled in what was essentially (and I don't want to ruin it, so i'll keep details sparse) what I thought was her most mature film. In the Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette you get the sense that Coppola is in commune with her young leads, they understand each other, they feel each other's need for new shoes and rock records and cigarette smoke. I felt like Somewhere took us one step back. We're not part of the world, but we can watch for a couple of hours or so, and enjoy. I think maybe this comes from the fact it is set in Hollywood, a place so rarefied that no-one really knows what it takes to get in the inner sanctum. But nonetheless, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was once again very real. The dialogue was so steeped in real life - the exchanges between father and daughter were so true, I thought - and some of the moments, like when Johnny follows that beautiful woman in his car all the way to her house, or, in true bachelor style, he cooks a whole box of pasta for himself and it overflows his collander, it was so hard to separate fiction from real life. It frustrated the hell out of me in the way that all good movies frustrate the hell out of me - I wanted to know what happened, I wanted more. And the sountrack was fab.