As Hollywood inches its way towards a diversity and inclusivity tipping point, director Sofia Coppola’s body of work feels more vital than ever. Coppola, who’s been directing features for nearly 20 years, prefers to tell stories from the perspective of privileged female characters dealing with listlessness, fame, and alienation. Her latest picture, the feminist reimagining of Don Siegel’s The Beguiled, earned Coppola Cannes’ esteemed Le Prix de la mise en scène (Best Director) award. And starting this week, TIFF Bell Lightbox will be commemorating the American auteur with an upcoming showcase titled, Sofia Coppola: A Name of Her Own.
Sofia Coppola: A Name of Her Own runs from December 8 – 17 and offers audiences the chance to screen all six of Coppola’s feature films: The Virgin Suicides (1999), Lost in Translation (2003), Marie Antoinette (2006), Somewhere (2010), The Bling Ring (2013), and The Beguiled (2017). Even better, the Lightbox will run two of Coppola’s films, The Virgin Suicides, and the visually sumptuous Marie Antoinette, in 35mm.
Even as comic book movies and tired sequels and reboots dominate the box office, there’s never been a better time to go out and enjoy quality films. Institutions like TIFF are curating cinema’s rich history and immersing audiences in movie culture. Initiative’s like the Lightbox’s Black Star: 100 Years of Black Excellence on the Big Screen and Sofia Coppola: A Name of Her Own offer everyone from cinephiles to casual moviegoers a reason to turn off Netflix, power down their iPhone, and head to the cinema.
These curated experiences provide audiences more than just a chance to watch classic films on a big screen; screenings are often hosted by guest speakers (film critics, journalists, and filmmakers). Without fail, guest speakers come packing excellent anecdotes and insights gleaned from years of film studies, movie binges, and working in and around the entertainment industry. I’ve walked out of more than one Lightbox retrospective inspired to go home, fire up Google, and lose myself down the nerdiest of film-history rabbit holes.
Last week the Lightbox team invited local film critics over for an advance screening of Marie Antoinette. The film is Coppola’s most visually ambitious picture and watching it run off a 35mm print felt like a special treat. Coppola infuses Marie Antoinette with a delectable majestic panache evocative of Kubrick’s visually stunning 1975 film, Barry Lyndon.
Coppola fills each scene with so many eye-catching details that there isn’t enough time to soak them all up. Fortunately for those attending Marie Antoinette on December 10, The Globe and Mail’s culture writer and film critic, Nathalie Atkinson, will be on hand to introduce the film. With over a decade of experience as a fashion critic, Atkinson comes uniquely equipped to offer laser-sharp insights into Marie Antoinette’s costume and production design. You’re not going to find someone better suited to visually and thematically unpack Marie Antoinette – unless their last name is Coppola.
If you’ve never seen a Sofia Coppola movie before, you’re a Coppola family completionist, or somewhere in between, the A Name of Her Own retrospective has something to offer you.
For the complete schedule head over to tiff.net/SofiaCoppola.
- Release Date: 12/08/2017