The act of consuming music, film, art and books on the surface may seem simple enough, but in fact, exposure to these media is a much more complex and multi-faceted experience. Memorable books and music weave their way into our own personal history and form the tapestry of our identity.
In this new series, we have a look at what books, music, art and films have influenced successful artists, musicians, actors, directors and authors. Previously, we looked at the influences ofDavid Bowie and Karl Lagerfeld.
If you are, perhaps, searching for creative inspiration or looking to explore new ideas, we hope this series inspires you. —P.F.M.
Previously in this series, we have looked at the the inspirations and influences of David Bowie and Karl Lagerfeld. This week, we will be looking at Screen Writer and Director Sofia Coppola. Coppola’s films are known for their female protagonists and hazy, dreamlike aesthetic, with themes focusing on human connections, loneliness and introspection.
The trailer to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 film “Rumble Fish”, starring Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke with Diane Lane, Vincent Spano, Nicholas Cage, Larry Fishburne, Chris Penn, Dennis Hopper and Tom Waits. Based on the novel by S.E. Hinton
Michel Poiccard, an irresponsible sociopath and small-time thief, steals a car and impulsively murders the motorcycle policeman who pursues him. Now wanted by the authorities, he renews his relationship with Patricia Franchini, a hip American girl studying journalism at the Sorbonne, whom he had met in Nice a few weeks earlier. Before leaving Paris, he plans to collect a debt from an underworld acquaintance and expects her to accompany him on his planned getaway to Italy. Even with his face in the local papers and media, Poiccard seems oblivious to the dragnet that is slowly closing around him as he recklessly pursues his love of American movies and libidinous interest in the beautiful American.
A wicked satire of sexual obsession, sadomasochism, & fetishism. When mild-mannered professor Humbert arrives in the small town of Ramsdale, he falls for Charlotte Haze & her teen daughter, Lolita. Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick explores the theme of sexual obsession (a subject he would revisit 37 years later in Eyes Wide Shut) with this darkly comic and deeply moving version of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel. James Mason plays devious, deluded Humbert: wedded to needy Charlotte (Shelley Winters); rivaled by the ubiquitous Clare Quilty (chameleon-like Peter Sellers); and enraptured to his gelatinous core by the blithe teen (Sue Lyon) with that “lovely, lyrical, lilting name” – Lolita.
Sixteen Candles Trailer – A young girl’s “sweet sixteenth” birthday becomes anything but special as she suffers from every embarrassment possible. Directed by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald, Justin Henry, Michael Schoeffling, Haviland Morris and Gedde Watanabe.
Released in 1971 to critical acclaim and public controversy, The Last Picture Show garnered eight Academy Award nominations and was hailed as the most important work by a young American director since Citizen Kane. A surprisingly frank, bittersweet drama of social and sexual mores in small-town Texas, the film features a talent-laden cast led by Jeff Bridges (The Mirror Has Two Faces), Cybill Sheperd (TV’s “Cybill”) and Timothy Bottoms (The Man in the Iron Mask). Cloris Leachman (TV’s “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”) and Ben Johnson (Rio Grande) each won Oscars for their work in supporting roles.
Box office hit about a sleazy New York City actor who learns a lesson when he resorts to posing as a woman to get hired for a soap opera. Also features screen debut of Geena Davis!
A trailer for director Elaine May’s 1972 comedy classic “The Heartbreak Kid”, written by Neil Simon and starring Charles Grodin, Cybill Shepherd, Jeannie Berlin, Eddie Albert and Audra Lindley
Directed by Swedish Filmmaker Tomas Alfredson and based on the best-selling novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let The Right One In weaves friendship, rejection and loyalty into a disturbing and darkly atmospheric, yet poetic and unexpectedly tender, tableau of adolescence.
Hong Kong, 1962: Chow Mo-wan and Su Li-zhen move into neighboring apartments on the same day. Their encounters are polite and formal—until a discovery about their respective spouses sparks an intimate bond. At once delicately mannered and visually stunning, Wong Kar-wai’s In the Mood for Love is a masterful evocation of romantic longing and fleeting moments in time.
Above, a look at Sofia Coppola’s favourite films. (Visit IndieWire for a for more indepth look at why these are her favourites.)
Use the black squares to advance to the next film trailer.
Above, from Coppola’s 2006 film, Marie Antoinette, and right, from the 2008 Miss Dior Cherie commercial starring model Maryna Linchuk
Sofia Coppola uses music as integral part of her creative process in filmmaking.
“In my opinion, music is one of the key components of a movie. It contributes to the atmosphere that we want to translate on screen. I also listen to lots of music when I’m writing a script, and the music in my films often comes to me at that time. So on the whole, it comes to me very early in my creative process. It inspires me and influences my films. It breathes soul into them.” –Sofia Coppola
MY BLOODY VALENTINE’S 1991 musical masterpiece Loveless struggled for the spotlight when it was released, overshadowed by the likes of Nirvana and Pearl Jam. But two decades later, the record’s defiant atmospherics and tremolo experimentation have become more influential than ever.
On their debut album for Astralwerks/Source, Phoenix applies a slick electronica aesthetic to traditional pop/rock songwriting, resulting in a quite adventurous album capable of re-organizing perceptions about 1980s-style verse-chorus-verse guitar pop.
A great leap forward from their funereal debut album, Power, Corruption & Lies cemented New Order‘s place as the most exciting dance-rock hybrid in music (and it didn’t even include the massive “Blue Monday” single, released earlier that year).
Entertainment! is one of those records where germs of influence can be traced through many genres and countless bands, both favorably and unfavorably. From groups whose awareness of genealogy spreads wide enough to openly acknowledge Gang of Four‘s influence
The soft, dreamlike scope of Roxy Music‘s 1982 release Avalon was a far cry from the stark abrasiveness of the band’s Seventies albums. But with its haunting melodies and hypnotic rhythms, Avalon was the logical extension of a style that Roxy Music had begun dabbling in on Flesh and Blood, released in 1980.
Musically, it’s a lively affair, breaking free of the signature approximated-Prince beats, as they borrow heavily from classic soul, breakbeat aesthetics, and postmodern alt-culture, tying it together with live beats. It pretty much deliberately does everything that most modern rap does not do, and it’s hard not to embrace it for that very fact.
Operating in a vein similar to that of Phoenix’s United, Living in a Magazine is a delightful, endearing slice of retro synth pop from Zoot Woman. Where Phoenix sometimes feels a bit like progressive rockers Steely Dan, Zoot Woman seeks inspiration in the Human League, New Order, and Kraftwerk.
If In Utero is a suicide note, MTV Unplugged in New York is a message from beyond the grave, a summation of Kurt Cobain‘s talents and pain so fascinating, it’s hard to listen to repeatedly. Is it the choice of material or the spare surroundings that make it so effective?
In the ’60s the jazz pianist Bill Evans would occasionally record an orchestral “easy listening” session to pay the bills, with predictably mediocre results. But FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, while certainly easy on the ears, is also one of Evans’ most intriguing “lost” records, brought to us courtesy of Verve’s winning “By Request” series.
“I was going to art school and trying different things. I was interested in a lot of, mostly visual arts. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and then I made a short film and felt like it was a combination of all these interests of mine with design and photography and music. But it was really when I read the book The Virgin Suicides that made me wanna make a movie.” –Sofia Coppola
Music for Torching – A.M. Homes
The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
Of Human Bondage – W. Somerset Maugham
The Hawkline Monster – Richard Brautigan
They Called Her Styrene – Ed Ruscha
Spring Snow – Yukio Mishima
It’s clear that Coppola’s taste is worth emulating. The aesthetic that made The Virgin Suicides the beginning of an infectious stylistic movement runs through everything Coppola touches. Her clothing, her homes, and, of course, her art. Often attending Chelsea gallery openings on the arm of her friend Rainer Judd (the daughter of MinimalistDonald Judd), Coppola began collecting photography at a young age before delving into contemporary painters and mixed-media artists. So what does “The Virgin Suicides Aesthetic” look like when it’s applied to art collecting? Here’s a glimpse of the style icon’s taste in fine art, as demonstrated through the distinctive artists she collects.
Tracey Emin – Its different when you Are in Love, 2016
Tracey Emin is a British artist known for her personally revelatory work that mines autobiographical details for her wide-ranging practice, which includes paintings, drawings, photos, videos, textile art, sculpture, and installations. A prominent member of the Young British Artists who rose to fame in the late 1980s, Emin’s seminal works Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995 (1995) and My Bed (1998)—her own unmade, messy bed installed at the Tate Gallery—provocatively contributed to feminist discourse with the raw, confessional nature of her art. She cites Edvard Munch and Egon Schiele as inspirations to her Expressionist style of self-representation.
Richard Prince is an American artist best known for his use of appropriated imagery. Prince uses photographs taken from consumer culture—advertising, entertainment, and social media—to probe ideas around authenticity and ownership with his controversial practice sparking debates concerning copyright, intellectual property, and theft within the art world. With a Pop Art style associated with Sherrie Levine, Andy Warhol, and Jeff Koons, the Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning has also influenced Prince with regard to his painting techniques. Born on August 6, 1949 in the Panama Canal Zone (now the Republic of Panama), Prince moved to New York in 1973. While working at Time Inc. (then Time-Life), he began to photograph pages of advertising and identify typologies and recurring archetypes. His famous series Cowboys (1980–1992, ongoing) was pulled from Marlboro cigarette ads, while his popular set of Nurse Paintings (2003) drew from covers of pulp novels.
Risaku Suzuki (1963) began actively exploring the medium of photography in the mid-1980s. In 1990, he held his first solo exhibition, and in 1998, he published his first photographic book, KUMANO (Korinsha Press), which looked at his native Kumano region of Japan. KUMANO took the form of a narrative sequence, as did his PILES OF TIME (Korinsha Press), published in the following year. His approach won acclaim as a new form of photographic expression, and in 2000, he received the 25th Kimura Ihei Award for photography. Suzuki has since continued to explore photography’s special character as a medium and portrayed a wide range of subjects—sacred places in Japan, Mont Sainte Victoire in southern France, cherry blossoms, snow, and Cezanne’s studio—taking a different approach for each.
Jürgen Teller – The Keys to the House No. 19, Suffolk, 2010
Jürgen Teller is a contemporary German photographer known for both his fine art and fashion work. In his unique portraits of models intermingling their celebrity lifestyle with the everyday, Teller examines social constructions of beauty. His work is distinctive for its candid feel, regularly photographing his subject in isolated surroundings with a washed-out, overexposed light, and often with unguarded expressions and seemingly unposed. In one of his most memorable portraits, Young Pink Kate, London(1998), he shot supermodel Kate Moss buried under hotel sheets, her face and splayed pink hair disembodied against a white ground. “I don’t like taking a sly picture on the side. I like the direct approach,” he explained. “I want to be as honest to myself and the subject as possible. And I’m depending on their humanness to come through.”