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06-02-2013
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trendsetter
 
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Quote:
And while this conversation has been awesome and interesting, I don't think any of us have changed our minds one bit! I guess Sofia is a polarizing artist? in any case, I am firmly in her corner, and I hope she continues to make films for a long while. We need more female eyes; we need more delicate touches, more quiet moments. At least that's my view.
Ha! Yeah, but on the upside, even if haven't changed our positions, we've all, for the most part, acknowledged the complexity behind the other side's arguments, and been able to see each side's valid points, whether pro or con.

Totally agree we need more female artists. There was a post going around tumblr awhile back that said that less than 10% of the directors in Hollywood are women. And, yeah, there are too many noisy films. Sofia could have used her clout and connections to make splashier films, so I do admire her for staying firmly indie/art house.

@KOV. Thanks for clarifying! To be honest, I really didn't want to to extend out the discussion either, but I feel it important to reference that storytelling doesn't have a strict definition anymore and why it doesn't. (I feel that you do get that, but you didn't say so in your OP regarding how you define storytelling, which was why I brought it up.)

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06-02-2013
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^ great post wild roses - I agree; it's been an enlightening and entertaining discussion.

Now all we have to do is wait and see what The Bling Ring has in store for us!

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06-02-2013
  78
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I'm actually pretty thrilled that this conversation lasted 6 pages without any insults hurled at people with different opinions or even at Sofia herself. Have you guys seen the IMDb boards for her films? It's crazy!

For whatever reason, Sofia seems to be one of the most divisive well-known directors (at least in my experience). I remember even when my family and I saw LiT in theaters (I was 12 and somehow it still hit home) everyone had either an extremely positive or extremely negative reaction to it. It seems like it's been the same with anyone else I've ever discussed her or her films with, on the internet and off it.

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08-02-2013
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I love this film; it's so touching and human and lovely. I honestly find it amazing that some people don't like it, ha ha!

But that's just taste and circumstances; different strokes for different folks.

hi, thanks for such elaborate take on explaining your thoughts on her films.
However, I personally do feel happy for you guys who genuinely enjoy her films, and to me that is not "amazing" at all! It's just the most common thing that we see things from different angle and perspective, and the real beauty lies in there. I don't see it as a right or wrong issue and I'm not intending to convince anyone to see it from my angle. We are born and trained with different eyes, sensibilities and mindsets, and i'm not surprised one bit someone likes her film.

Talking about quite, realistic yet delicate touches on films, I've found way more films that carry such traits, and the differences is they seem to be more honest. The biggest problem I have with Sofia's films is lack of honesty. Please let us agree to disagree on that I find her take too stylized, too pretty, too much like a little girl's sad but still pink fantasy. In this sense Marie Antoinette's character suits her perfectly. I find she is avoiding some real problems. I feel like it's as if she is afraid to confront the truth, the ugly truth, so instead she has to make it pretty. Like her films seem to be too Melancholic, almost like posing. Like Charlotte sitting on the window edge dreaminly gazing through the skyline. It's so pretty and the prettiness almost overshadows the underlying loneliness. Like i can't see the loneliness anymore cause i'm distracted by the prettiness. So that i can play her films as background to create that dreamy mood, but i don't need to feel the real pain, so it's not confrontationsl. To me it't not simply a matter of style, it's a matter of substance. It's too comfortable to feel the soul. At some point I just would like to see some ugliness, cause real pain is not pretty, it's ugly, it's raw, it's confrontational, and that makes it powerful. I feel like she adds too much layers of sugar to coat the pain so that the pain is not painful but pretty, almost even enjoyable. But that is not honest. That is not the truth. The truth is pain is pain, is ugly and raw, but the rawness and ugliness at the same time can be incredibly beautiful, cause its real, cause its what life really is. It's can be pretty, beautiful and ugly. There are so many layers to it and that makes life and art fascinating. Art is sublime, but it dosen't mean it has to always be pretty.

In that way I find her point of view severely limited, female or not. And I believe real art should have no gender. I find it too light, Too airy, and too much escapism. It dosen't have a punch. Yes, pretty and delicate is nice, but too much sugar is not fun! To be honest I'm perfectly fine to live in the world without Sofia coppola's films. To watch something quite, realistic, delicate, yet honest and powerful at the same time, I have plenty to choose from, and that is for another thread

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08-02-2013
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Wow, great posts, guys! Especially the post above. And apart from Sofia's film style, let's not forget about her amazing soundtracks! Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette have exceptional music--they both successfully created a lonely/mysterious feeling around the main characters like Charlotte/Bob/Marie.
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08-02-2013
  81
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Quote:
The truth is pain is pain, is ugly and raw, but the rawness and ugliness at the same time can be incredibly beautiful, cause its real, cause its what life really is. It's can be pretty, beautiful and ugly. There are so many layers to it and that makes life and art fascinating. Art is sublime, but it dosen't mean it has to always be pretty
.

Exactly. That's why I love Ingmar Bergman Bergman, because his films are unnervingly beautiful, but he's not afraid to show that rawness. Sofia is. Like in MA. We see a scene of MA collapsed against the wall sobbing, and 5 seconds later, it's loud music and food/fashion porn. In a Bergman film, he would keep probing the darkness, he wouldn't provide a filler to make you forget the rawness.

I think Sofia is actually more akin to Ozu. Except even Ozu doesn't shy away from confrontatation or change. Like in LIT, when asked about the self-help tapes by Bob, Charlotte embarrassingly says she doesn't know who owns them (insert me rolling eyes so hard). Ozu's films show how and why denial shouldn't be romanticized, whereas with Sofia denial is the main the reason.

BTW: I do think Sofia presents her main characters as flawed ,but I think she expects us an audience to overlook their flaws. Like it's always someone else's fault fault. Not Plain Jane said something about their problematic circumstances being external. That to me is an example of Holden Caulfielding. Of course, we the audience know HC and like characers are flawed, but Holden doesn't see himself as seriously flawed...he just needs a change in situation to make everything better. Charlotte knows there's something wrong with her marriage, but she doesn't examine how her constant clingingness, judgmental character, and lack of life outside her husband might be contributing. She doesn't think it's her, she thinks it's him. Same with Bob. He knows his marriage in trouble, but does he examine his factors. Nor, instead the film trivializes his wife. We the audience are allowed to admit Charlotte and Bob have flaws to make them "real" but we're not supposed to focus on their flaws, but those surrounding them making the characters miserable.

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08-02-2013
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Quote:
Art is sublime
Not all art is sublime. Burke, Kant, etc. are very specific about the sublime.

Not all art has to probe the ugliness and pain. And don't get me wrong! I love gothic and horror film and lit; I also love Bergman a lot (just watched Virgin Spring the weekend before last). But that doesn't preclude me from liking a quieter side of things too, a more lyrical depiction of life, as opposed to realist or dark.

Interestingly, Sofia's work has been called gothic AND sublime! I tend to agree, but especially with Virgin Suicides, because it's so entropic.

Quote:
Coppola’s primary characters seem to be caught between convention and indeterminacy, a distinctly Gothic trap. According to Vijay Mishra, Gothic characters are “shadowed by others and their individuality, their radical difference or uniqueness, dismantled through a technique of duplication or uncanny repetition” (p. 54). Coppola gives her primary characters a Gothic twist replacing the older, brooding, tired masculine figure and the young, naive heroine with a feminine adventurer who provides the masculine figure with the motivation and opportunity to journey into the unfamiliar landscape. Charlotte offers Bob an invitation to explore the unimaginable and unknowable in Tokyo, ultimately a sublime experience that defamiliarises and renews his perspective.
source: http://sensesofcinema.com/2004/featu...n_translation/

I think it's a matter of perspective. I see her characters acknowledging their own flaws, being self-deprecating. Charlotte admits she's floundering and feels insecure. Bob admits that marriage is hard and that he's going through a midlife crisis. He also acts rather ashamed of his career and the entire reason he's in Tokyo. But their relationship and the wonders of the city allow them to explore, albeit briefly (a short moment of Joyceian epiphany), what life is like beyond their marital and career issues - it's a fleeting moment explored via the entire film. A twinkle in the dark. The darkness, the loneliness is there. But Sofia chooses to focus on a moment of lightness in being.

That's not shallow to my mind; it's just a different take.

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Last edited by Not Plain Jane; 08-02-2013 at 04:31 PM.
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08-02-2013
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I'd also argue that most of Sofia's work, while never overtly political, is none the less subtly feminist in terms of her depiction of relationships. Her characters rebel against parental cloistering, empty marriages, and pointless traditions; they seek deeper connections and personal autonomy/happiness simultaneously.

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19-02-2013
  84
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well Bob and Charlotte's elitism in regards to the idiots around them is one of my favourite things. And how they escape in to their own world together. I love it. That was the best movie in the world. No other movie has been as affecting.
Her movies after that one have felt shallow though.

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08-03-2013
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08-03-2013
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The teaser was excellent. I can't wait to get a longer trailer.
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10-03-2013
  87
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I have to say I'm officilly intrigued. I haven't been impressed by Emma's films outside of HP (which pains me to say cuz I think she's talented), but if Sofia can turn Emma into a convincing bad girl, I'll have take back most of what I said about Sofia.

(Also, it's nice that she's tackling privilege and celebrity from a different angle.)

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10-03-2013
  88
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Wasn't Kristen Dunst supposed to be in The Bling Ring (playing a Paris Hilton-esque character, I assume)? Does anybody know why she was dropped?

I kind of like that she's filming something based on The Bling Ring. I mean it's a pretty inconsequential event, overall, but it's kind of an interesting reflection on the current state of celebrity and people obsessed with them. The Vanity Fair article about the robberies was really interesting.


Last edited by blueorchid; 10-03-2013 at 10:15 PM.
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10-03-2013
  89
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As far as I know, Dunst is still in the film, but I don't know who she is playing. Paris Hilton is playing Paris Hilton.

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10-03-2013
  90
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^ Even better than a Paris inspired character!

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