Friday, April 23, 2010

The Undeniable Force of Talent and Genius: Auteur Sofia Coppola

“It's been great to have positive reviews, especially because for so long I put myself completely into it. You're so vulnerable putting yourself up to be reviewed, so it's exciting that they see something in it that I intended.” –Sofia Coppola

In the word of film and media, women are significantly under represented and there are statistics that prove this blatant fact. According to the site Women in the Director's Chair (WIDC), an international media arts /activist organization that promotes women in the media, “There are 39 film festivals solely dedicated to showing the work of women directors throughout the world.” The Celluloid Ceiling 2007 Report states that, “Women accounted for 6% of directors of the top 250 domestic grossing films released in 2007, a decline of 1% since 2006. This figure is approximately half the percentage of women directors working in 2000 when women accounted for 11% of all directors”. The media is our culture’s most powerful influence when it comes to molding perceptions and creating norms. It is sad that these statistics about women in our media culture continue to ring true.

In recent years there have been women that have successfully broken down these boundaries and have excelled in doing so. There is still a long way to go for women to be more recognized in these media roles, but there are many organizations and individuals who are fighting for equality in male dominated places like Hollywood. The director, actress, producer, and screenwriter Sofia Coppola was the first American woman and the third woman in history to be nominated for an Academy Award in Directing for the movie Lost in Translation (2003). Although Coppola was born into Hollywood as the daughter of famous film director Francis Ford Coppola, she regardless seemed destined for a successful career in the business. Her attraction to the arts and an interest in many facets of the movie buisness aided Coppola in finding her passion for making movies. There was no doubt that Coppola would become a remarkable director and successfully step out of the shadow of her father. Her movie Lost in Translation was a work that defined her as an undeniable force of talent a genius. Coppola not only directed the film, but wrote and produced it as well, she is the epitome of an auteur. Coppola explained how she identified with the two lost characters in her film in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2003, "I just remember feeling overwhelmed by 'How do you figure out what you're supposed to do?'" Coppola has contributed a lot for women in the mainstream media because of her unrelenting ambition and undeniable talents. There is indeed hope for a future Hollywood that recognizes female directors.

Sophia’s efforts to open the doors for more women to get involved in the usually more male dominated Hollywood positions will hopefully help more women to become involved in places like behind the camera.

Encyclopedia of World Biography. “Sofia Coppola Biography”

IMDB. ‘Sofia Coppola”.

Traction. “The Celluloid Ceiling 2007 Report”.

Women in The Director’s Chair.

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