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Sofia Coppola names her favourite horror film of all time


Sofia Coppola has long moved past being merely the daughter of the influential filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, having carved out her own directorial method that has led her to make some of the finest films of the 21st century.

Rising to prominence with her 1999 film The Virgin Suicides starring Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst and Hayden Christensen, Coppola has since become a modern auteur, creating a style that in many ways is the direct antithesis of her father’s. Focusing on the intimate moments of life and the caring relationships we craft with those around us, the minimalism of Coppola is what makes her such a treasured modern filmmaker.

The Virgin Suicides was followed up with the Oscar-winning success of Lost in Translation in 2003, with the filmmaker taking home a statuette for Best Original Screenplay at the awards show for her film that remains a pertinent study on modern loneliness. With Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, Coppola made a romance for the ages that perfectly captured Tokyo in the process. 

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Studying photography before becoming a filmmaker, the cinematic eye of the writer and director is obvious even from her earliest films, lingering on particular shots to withdraw a profound meaning, whilst perfectly composing the frame for her actors to occupy. From The Virgin Suicides through to her most recent movie, On the Rocks, this talent has remained consistent. 

Taking inspiration from her father, as well as the likes of Michelangelo Antonioni, Wong Kar-wai, Bob Fosse and Jean-Luc Godard, Coppola is a student of cinema like any great filmmaker, learning from every corner of the vibrant cinematic landscape. Despite never having made a film of the genre, this love of cinema includes that of the 1960s and 1970s horror, with Coppola telling i-d that she has a particular fondness for the era. 

Loving “any movie with girls in long white nightgowns, candelabras,” Coppola used much of her passion for such campy horror movies for her 2017 movie The Beguiled starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning. Speaking about how she used such elements of horror in her own film, she added: “It was really fun and challenging to how I would kind of approach the Southern Gothic genre, but still in my own style”. 

No doubt, Coppola also drew inspiration from the 2008 arthouse vampire movie Let the Right One In, a film the director often names as one of her favourite horror movies of all time. Named on IndieWire’s list of the director’s top picks, there’s little surprise that Coppola is such a fan of dark film by Tomas Alfredson, with the violent elements often taking a backseat to the coming-of-age love story that sits at the very centre of the multi-award-winning movie. 

Released in 2008 in the midst of the vampire obsession of the early 21st century, Alfredson’s film, starring Kåre Hedebrant and Lina Leandersson was later remade as Let Me In in 2010. Failing to capture the true brutality and heartache of the original film, Matt Reeves’ American vision paled in comparison to Sofia Coppola’s favourite horror movie of all time. 

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