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Posts Tagged ‘Sofia Coppola’

Apollinaire on Trial, and Other News

December 17, 2013 | by


  • Apollinaire (or, at any rate, his Turkish publisher) is on trial in Istanbul.
  • Sofia Coppola is set to adapt Alysia Abbott’s 1970s San Francisco-set Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father.
  • The American Library Association has named ten librarians from across the United States to be winners of the I Love My Librarian award. Each honoree will receive $5,000.
  • Buzzfeed brings us fourteen places to talk to a stranger about books. Elevators and playgrounds feel potentially problematic, but what do we know?


    Girls Moping in Hotels

    September 23, 2013 | by


    Film still courtesy of Focus Features.

    In Lost in Translation, sad-eyed Charlotte spends much of the film curled up on the windowsill high above Tokyo in a sleek Japanese hotel, gazing balefully over the city, acknowledging her loneliness. Played with winsome melancholy by Scarlett Johansson, Charlotte doesn’t verbalize her isolation, but director Sofia Coppola’s gently circumnavigating camera makes it evident. Charlotte plods the halls like baleful Eloise. She quietly considers her loneliness while curled up in hotel sheets, or judging the patrons at the hotel bar, or diving into the beautifully designed hotel pool.

    An unlikely literary analog can be found in a passage from D. H. Lawrence’s Women in Love. When the protagonist is left by her sister in a hotel room, Gudrun

    immediately felt her own existence had become stark and elemental. She went and crouched alone in her bedroom, looking out of the window at the big, flashing stars. In front was the faint shadow of the mountain-knot. That was the pivot. She felt strange and inevitable, as if she were centered upon the pivot of all existence, there was no further reality.

    Gudrun, like Charlotte, is hoisted in isolation, in a sort of heavenly limbo.

    Lost in Translation, which celebrated its tenth birthday this summer, is the consummate contemporary example of a young woman who finds herself in beautiful accommodations, in a fascinating foreign city, unable to do much but sulk and consider ordering room service. The hotel is, of course, an ideal place for cerebral brooding; hotels are, by their nature, in between. It is where you sleep, but it is not your home. You are a guest without a host, surrounded by scores of strangers hanging up their clothes in the room next door, as close as family.

    Is it a certain kind of woman who broods in hotels, who peers out over the vista and ponders her existence? Read More »