The films of Sofia Coppola have moved and entranced audiences with her minimalist style, moody soundscapes, and commitment to centering the lives and experiences of women and girls. A Critical Companion to Sofia Coppola explores the implications of her stories, images, and convictions in a comprehensive study of all eight of her major works. Drawing from a wide range of disciplines, each chapter offers a fresh, interdisciplinary reading of one of Coppola’s films and her treatment of core themes like masculinity, sexual politics, bodies, and love. Rigorously researched and unique, the arguments presented within this volume shed new light on one of the most important women filmmakers in film history.
Naaman Wood is professor in the Communication Department at Saint Paul College.
Christopher Booth is professor in the Music Department at Old Dominion University.
PART I: MASCULINITY
Chapter 1. An Alternative Masculinity: The Habuitus of Vulnerability, Presence, and Mundane Delight in Somewhere (2010)
Chapter 2. Limits of Masculinity: Excess, Mimicry, and Ambivalence in The Virgin Suicides (1999)
PART II: SEXUAL POLITICS
Chapter 3. A Limited Liberation: Film Music, Suture, Feminism, and Anachronism in Marie Antoinette (2006)
Chapter 4. Tables Turned: Hospitality, Phallogocentrism, and Virginity in The Beguiled (2017)
PART III: BODIES
Chapter 5. A Bodily Desire: (Micro)celebrity, Celebrity Culture as Parareligion, and the Erotic in The Bling Ring (2013)
Chapter 6. An Embodied Joy: Carnivalesque Subversions and Grotesque Bodies in A Very Murray Christmas (2015)
PART IV: LOVE
Chapter 7. A Liminal Love: Charles Taylor’s Malaise and Chela Sandoval’s Decolonial Love in Lost in Translation (2003)
Chapter 8. A Managed Love: Emotional Labor, Exhaustion, and Unhappiness in On the Rocks (2020)
This most comprehensive study of Sofia Coppola’s films so far asks us to consider what might happen when we put her pampered privileged worlds into dialogue with the insights of fourth-wave feminism and critical race scholarship. The result is an intriguing emphasis on how Coppola’s films stress that joy emerges from acknowledgement of vulnerability and wrestling with bad feelings. Adding their voice to the ongoing debate about Coppola’s position within feminist film studies, the authors make a notable contribution to Coppola scholarship and this book will undoubtedly appeal to cultural studies scholars, critical race scholars, and those working in the area of Coppola and feminist/postfeminist media studies.