Sofia Coppola’s First Book Goes Behind the Scenes on Her Films From ‘Lost in Translation’ to ‘Priscilla.’ See Its Lush Photos Here
"Sofia Coppola Archive" also collects scripts, mood boards, and notes from the director's eight feature films.
For Sofia Coppola, her films don’t just live onscreen, but in boxes upon boxes in which she’s stored loose ephemera from each of her projects. They contain scripts, notes, and references, as well as mood boards and memorabilia. Most of all, there are heaps of photographs that document her time on various sets. As she sifted through what she called this “junk” over the course of the 2020 Covid-19 lockdowns, she decided to make a book “to have them all in one place.”
That book is Sofia Coppola Archive: 1999-2023, the first volume from the director to chronicle her body of work. While it looks and feels every bit like a hefty coffee table book, Coppola prefers to see it more as a “scrapbook” that recreates the vibes of her creative space. “For me, this book is like the closest version of visiting my office and seeing all the stuff piled up around my desk,” she told Vogue.
Flipping through the nearly 500-page book, each chapter of which is dedicated to one of her movies, one does get a visual sense of what has fired up the filmmaker’s imagination over the years. Among her collection are objects such as Tina Barney’s photographs, which served as a reference for the Lisbon sisters’ bedrooms in The Virgin Suicides (1999), and a print-out of the John Kacere painting that inspired the opening shot of Lost in Translation (2003).
Coppola’s introductions to each chapter further draw out her creative sources: John Galliano and the Met’s Costume Institute for Marie Antoinette (2006), and Drew Faust’s 1996 book Mothers of Invention for The Beguiled (2017).
Archive also compiles the many, many photographs capturing the scenes behind Coppola’s films. Some were shot by the director herself on her trusty Contax T3 and others by photographers she invited to the sets, including British fashion photographer Corrinne Day. The section on The Bling Ring (2013), for one, includes dozens of images taken inside Paris Hilton’s outrageous home and closet, which served as locations for the movie.
Of course, there are tidbits for Coppola die-hards, many of whom swarmed the New York book signing at Bookmarc. There’s the director’s annotated copy of Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides, her email correspondence with Priscilla Presley for the upcoming Priscilla film, and a clipping of a positive review of On the Rocks (2020) sent by her father, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.
All together, Archive is shot through with Coppola’s singular aesthetic—dreamy, melancholic, pastel in hue (see: the book’s millennial pink cover)—with which she has told stories of white girlhood and womanhood. As she told journalist Lynn Hirschberg in the book’s introduction, common across her eight feature films are “a world” as much as “a girl trying to navigate it.” The construction of these worlds, Archive reveals, has been Coppola’s abiding creative endeavor.
“I was raised with the idea of auteurism, of having a distinct point of view,” she told Hirschberg, in reference to her father. “And I still believe that is how you become an artist. What’s the whole point of doing a movie unless it’s something that only you could make?”
See more images from the book below.
Sofia Coppola Archive: 1999-2023 is now available on MACK.
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