' Cinema Romantico: An Essential Link

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

An Essential Link

Sofia Coppola is just such a genius. How do I know this? I know this not because I very much admired both "The Virgin Suicides" and "Marie Antionette" (soooooooo underrated) nor because I consider "Lost In Translation" to be a genuine masterpiece but because even though I gave her fourth feature film, "Somewhere", released in late 2010, a middling review, well, damn, man, I couldn't get it off my mind. It lingered with me. It lingers with me still.


And then my man Max over at Anomalous Material wrote a perfect review of it that everyone should read at once. He gets it just right. Everything he says is spot on, I feel, but it's this line that brought it home: "Watching 'Somewhere' is like listening to a beautiful song in a language you don’t know."

Yes. Yes! Watching "Somewhere" is like listening to Carla Bruni. I have no idea what she's singing and I don't want to know what she's singing. Her music elicits this universal swoon in me and to know what point she's actually trying to make might very well take the piss outta the whole thing.

I kept thinking Sofia had finally broken my heart and yet I never typed those words because in one way or another I knew they weren't true. A review of the 2007 Sofia Blanc de Blanc says "I was expecting some sweetness but was pleasantly surprised to find it dry and refreshing." That might describe Sofia's "Somewhere" too and might, in fact, describe Sofia's entire quartet of films. She never gives you exactly what you expect. And, as we know, there are fewer qualities in the cinema for which I have greater respect.

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