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Cannes: Sofia Coppola Speaks Out in Support of Theatrical Releases for Movies

Variety logo Variety 5/24/2017 Leo Barraclough
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Sofia Coppola, speaking at the Cannes Film Festival press conference for her American Civil War movie “The Beguiled,” spoke out in favor of giving films a theatrical release rather than an online-only release.

“[A film] always looks better seen on the big screen,” Coppola said, adding that the atmosphere in a theater added to the experience, and Philippe Le Sourd’s cinematography could be best appreciated on the big screen. “We shot it for the big frame and not a phone. I hope people will see it in the theater. That experience is such a unique one, especially in our modern lives, to really lose yourself in a film.”

Coppola was commenting on the issue in the light of Cannes’ recent decision that from next year all films in competition must secure a theatrical release in France, so excluding streaming companies like Netflix that prefer to release their films online only.

Coppola was asked whether she would direct a super-hero movie or another type of big-budget Hollywood blockbuster, and she didn’t rule it out. “I love making small low-budget films where I am really allowed to do it the way I want, and I think when you have those huge franchises there are a lot of cooks in the kitchen and meetings in conference rooms. But I’d never say never.”

Asked about the differences between roles for the small and large screen, Nicole Kidman, one of the stars of “The Beguiled” as well as Cannes-selected TV series “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” referred to her work on the TV series “Big Little Lies,” which was directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, best known for movies like “Dallas Buyers Club.” “He directed [‘Big Little Lies’] for the small screen. He knew what he was making it for, and I think that’s the really important part of it, because Sofia said she was making this film for the big screen — there is a way of framing and certain things you do for that reason.”

Speaking in support of the small screen, she said: “We need stories, we need the opportunities, we need things to be seen; the world is changing and we will have to change with it. I have a foot in every area of this, and I am a grateful recipient.

“I’m turning 50 this year, and I’ve never had more work than right now, and that is partly because I can work in television. I can work in films that are made to be shown on the small screen, and I can work in films for the theater.”

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