While teaching the Sofia Coppola section of my class, I've been dressing with each week's film in mind. Appropriate, right? Especially given Coppola's paratextual auteur persona as fashion icon. So, shlumpy button-down and Chuck lo-tops a la Charlotte, a cinched-waist knee-length black linen jacket whose shawl collar and peplum gestured toward Marie Antoinette's court silhouettes as its material recalled the simpler muslin garb at Petit Trianon. Never anything too extreme or on the nose, so stolen hoochy club couture for next week's screening of The Bling Ring is out. But today I am wearing the closest approximation of the above look, which accompanies an interview with Coppola about this week's film, Somewhere, that an Italo-Irish 40-something female employee of a state university could muster. It made me laugh all day.
Sometimes amusing oneself is the best way to approach the performative aspect of teaching. It also feels like an homage to Miriam Hansen, who we noticed dressed for the films she taught us in a way that's hard to describe, but I remember being unmistakeable when we watched Johnny Guitar with her. No one would accuse Hansen of frivolity.
Finally, from another Somewhere interview, an amusing exchange, one where the filmmaker reveals herself fully cognizant of the nepotism/female-informed construction of Sofia Coppola as auteur:
Q: You won an Oscar for writing "Lost in Translation." You were also nominated for directing it -- making you one of the few women in history to get a directing nomination. When Kathryn Bigelow won earlier this year for "The Hurt Locker," did you feel a sense of pride or kinship?
A: "I appreciate that she's doing her thing, but I don't relate to her work more than a guy's just because she's a woman. I was happy that she won because it was especially fun seeing her win against her ex-husband! (laughs)"