Magazine article Screen International

Sofia Coppola: 'I Still Think It’s Hard to Get a Theatrical Release'

Magazine article Screen International

Sofia Coppola: 'I Still Think It’s Hard to Get a Theatrical Release'

Article excerpt

Sofia Coppola has been coming to Cannes since she was a child, telling Screen that her favourite festival memory is sitting in dad Francis' lap at the Apocalypse Now press conference in 1979. "He thought they'd be less harsh if he had his daughter with him!" she said.

Now she's back in Competition for the second time (after Marie Antoinette in 2006) with The Beguiled, a remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood film about a wounded soldier taken in by an all-girls school. Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Colin Farrell star. Focus will release in the US with Universal distributing internationally.

Screen talked to her ahead of the festival.

Screen: How did you react when you got The Beguiled into Cannes official competition?

Sofia Coppola: It added some excitement to post-production. We found out we were in right away and then we had to scramble to get the film finished!

Why remake the Clint Eastwood film?

My friend Anne Ross who is a production designer/producer showed me the movie and said: 'I think you need to make a version of it'. I would never plan to remake someone else's movie but when I saw it, it just stayed in my mind. I love [the Clint Eastwood original], it's so weird and I thought it would be interesting to tell the story of a soldier in a girls' school but from the women character's point of view. I also wanted to do something in that southern gothic genre, which I've never done before.

Based on the trailer The Beguiled seems be more action-packed than your previous films?

They definitely put all the most exciting parts in the trailer! It's not as jam-packed as that. It has different elements that I haven't done before, but it's still in my style and my way of working.

Was it easy to get the budget together?

It's always a challenge. Has anyone ever told you that its easy? Even though I've made so many films it still feels difficult. Universal own the rights to it so we had to deal with them and luckily they were open to it. I think they thought it was a weird idea to take this out of their library and do a new interpretation but I was lucky they were up for it and let me do it.

But its low budget, we shot it in 26 days in New Orleans so it was definitely a hustle but saying that I was able to get creative freedom because it was done on a small scale. I still got to make the movie I wanted to make.

Is it easier or harder now to make independent films compared to when you first started out? …

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