Book cover
Sofia Coppola Archive
Sofia Coppola & Lynn Hirschberg

I heard this book mentioned in a Terri Gross interview with Sofia Coppola. I’m a big Coppola fan, so I ordered it right away. It is primarily a scrapbook, organized by film, and full of images Coppola used as inspiration, along with set photos and snippets of script notes, letters and postcards. It also includes an introductory interview by Lynn Hirschberg where Coppola goes deep on her process and what drives her.

Across all my films there is a common quality: there is always a world and there is always a girl trying to navigate it. That’s the story that will always intrigue me.

First and foremost, the book is gorgeous. The bold simple dustcover opens to reveal and even bolder, totally unadorned cover. And inside: hundreds of pages of photographs. Coppola is a visual storyteller, and I was most fascinated by her inspirations. Take, for example, the remarkable photograph Woman with Blue Bow by Jo Ann Callis.

Credit: Getty / Jo Ann Callis

Credit: Getty / Jo Ann Callis

It’s a beautiful evocative photograph, and Coppola tells us:

It fits the feeling in The Beguiled of frustration and being trapped in ultra-femininity.

I love getting these glimpses into her visual inspiration. The book is full of them. In a sense the whole book serves as a visual explanation—or at least exploration—of Coppola’s filmography, with very few words. It is so fitting.