Mindy (tonite_tonight) wrote in i_heart_sofia,

i wanna be like you

Hey everyone! I've just been added, and I wanted to say hello briefly before launching into Sofia-ness. My name is Mindy, and I am something like obsessed with Sofia Coppola. I adore the Virgin Suicides, though I haven't seen Lost in Translation yet because I was studying abroad when it came out here, and back in the States when it came out in England. So I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the DVD. More than just her movies though, I admire the way that Sofia has lived her life; rather than taking advantage of her upbringing to become another vapid socialite, she seems to have gone from one thing to another in an effort to express herself. I think she's an amazing designer, photographer, writer, director... the list goes on. She's a true artist. I want to be her!

So. On to what you probably actually want to read: I don't have a scanner so I can't scan this in, but I do have time to spare, so here is an article from Vogue.

"i wanna be like you," by Sofia Coppola
U.S. Vogue, October 2003

Sofia Coppola grew up pasting pictures of the sultry heroines of seventies magazines to her bedroom wall in California.

Helmut Newton's portrait of Charlotte Rampling from the seventies is one of my favorite photographs of all time. When I was a kid growing up in the country, magazines were so important to me. I would get The Face and Vogue and French Vogue - they were my link to the rest of the world. And although my parents took us all over when they traveled, high school in Napa was far away from the sophistication and glamour I saw in the pages of those magazines.

Like most teenage girls, I covered my walls with the pictures I tore out of them. I think when you're younger you look at women and pictures of women to define who you want to grow up to be, and they make a deep impression on you. I always loved images of Tina Chow, Paloma Picasso, and Anjelica Huston. I remember I met Anjelica when I was fourteen. She told me I would grow into my nose, which I appreciated.

The image of Charlotte Rampling sitting naked on a table seemed to me the ultimate portrait of a woman. I like photos that have a story to them. This picture could almost be a still from a film: it makes me think about what just happened and what will happen next. There's something going on between her and the photographer, the way he's looking at her and she's looking back at him. She's so striking and cool, and you can tell she's smart. Who doesn't want to be that?

The seventies seemed like such a glamorous time. It was before sportswear became normal; women didn't wear sneakers. There was a romance and a decadence to the way those women looked that I found very appealing. I remember being impressed by the French actress Aurore Clément, who was married to my dad's production designer Dean Tavoularis and was a friend of the family's. I think she even posed for Helmut Newton when she was younger, and she epitomized a certain kind of sophisticated French beauty. She would wear Yves Saint Laurent - not the super-sexy slash-necked looks but silk pleated skirts with a little blouse and round, flat shoes. She was very chic.

I began collecting fashion photography, encouraged by my mother. She gave me a William Klein photo of a woman smoking with roses on her hat, and another of a model on a Paris street. I still collect photos and art, and I love it. Some of my favorite pieces are by Philip-Lorca diCorsia, Richard Prince, Takashi Homma, Larry Sultan, Elizabeth Peyton. Just the other day I bought a Bob Richardson piece I love of a model on a beach with a tear in her eye. I tried to buy the Rampling photo a few years ago, but it was so expensive!

I spent a lot of time on my dad's film sets when I was growing up. We lived all over - in the Philippines during Apocalypse Now and Tulsa during Rumble Fish and The Outsiders - but Napa was always our home base. I'd go after school to watch the work. My dad made it look fun. He stressed the writing side of movies; for him the writing and the acting were the most important parts. But they were always visually interesting.

When I was fifteen, I went to intern at Chanel in Paris for the summer, which was a big difference from life in Napa. It was during the couture collections, and it was totally over-the-top eighties couture, which crazy, incredible beading and embroideries. I had thought the whole experience was going to be more stuffy and scary, but the atmosphere in the studios was really lively and fun, with music playing and Karl [Lagerfeld] making cartoons. Everyone was very approachable and friendly.

After that I designed the costumes for a short film my dad made for New York Stories, which was influenced by my visit there. We had little kids in Chanel jackets and ripped jeans, which I remember Veronica Webb wearing when she came to the studio.

I spent my 20s trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I tried everything and was frustrated because I couldn't really find the one thing I wanted to focus on. I went to art school and studied painting, then got more into photography and doing a little clothing line and designing some more costumes - just trying different things until I made my first short film and really enjoyed it. Making movies combines so many different areas that I like, and it's always really challenging. I enjoy the visual aspect, working with the cinematographer and the costume designer. I get involved in all those details.

Girls and women as a subject of photos and movies is something I'm really interested in. Part of the story of Lost in Translation, my current movie, is about trying to individuate and find your identity, as it was for The Virgin Suicides. It's something that I think about. And looking at different images and women you admire helps you define that.

When I'm working on a film project, I put together books of visual references in a certain mood, even if I have no idea how they'll relate to the final product. I still love looking at magazines and tearing pages out, and I still have the Charlotte Rampling picture on my wall.
Tags: article, vogue
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