One of the concepts I came across in my research on Wes Anderson for this course I'm teaching advanced the notion of Anderson as "dependent auteur," where his relationships with folks like Randall Poster and Mark Mothersbaugh and the materials in various Criterion extras somehow all contributed to his profile as an auteur, yes, but one who relied on folks like the aforementioned to realize his strong, singular vision.
Not surprisingly, I found as I moved on to Sofia Coppola a lot lot less in the way of scholarly articles. But I was seized with the idea of how her coverage in the fashion press (relationships with Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton, and other luxury brands) as well as the emphasis on nepotism (another luxury brand?) in profiles could themselves be considered as paratextual aspects of her auteur persona.
So I showed the kids Rumble Fish, featuring Domino. And then this week--because I also want to explore hotels across both makers' work--I showed them "Life without Zoe," the script a young Sofia co-wrote with her father, who directed the segment for inclusion in 1989's New York Stories.
I saw this film in its theatrical release, and hated it relative to the Scorsese and Allen contributions. I've since seen Six in Paris and other omnibus films that give this effort context. But now I focus on the paratextual.
The credit sequence is on a first-name basis, just like descriptions of the young Coppola's life have tended to emphasize. The Fieldston girls wear Chanel. And there's the Sherry Netherland, where young Coppola lived. What happens to a hotel when it becomes your home?
Anyway, it's still an infuriating fairy tale, but one I feel more people should watch before they write think-pieces about Coppola, privilege, The Bling Ring or whatever. Face it. Sofia Coppola is not like us. Not because of material advantage per se as much as sometimes she grew up in New York hotels and sometimes she went to school in Oklahoma, and sometimes she lived in the Philippines, and that is her normal.