Sofia Coppola And Corinne Day: Do You Remember The First Time?
By Dara Block
Part of what makes a Sofia Coppola film so special is not just the movie itself, but all the interesting magazine articles and layouts that appear in publication around the time one of her films is released. It is always fascinating to discover some of Sofia Coppola's secret thoughts and influences. Personally, one of my favorite editorials has to be when The Face magazine showcased a beautiful and inspiring photo essay entitled Do You Remember The First Time? back in May of 2000. The images were photographed by Sofia Coppola and the late Corinne Day on the set of her 1999 film The Virgin Suicides and the text featured in the layout was written by Sofia Coppola as well.
Both Coppola and Day were simply the perfect contributors to this magazine. After all, The Face was so influential in terms of fashion, music, style and I love how the magazine was so in tune as to what was going on in youth culture, which is something both Coppola and Day know a thing or two about.
In case you are unfamiliar with Corinne Day it is important to know that she actually started her career at The Face when she infamously photographed Kate Moss at the age of 16 in the "Third Summer of Love" editorial back in July 1990. This was such an iconic issue and it definitely made people take notice of a then undiscovered Kate Moss. Day had such a way for capturing youth and innocence, so it was no surprise that Coppola wanted to collaborate with her on the set of The Virgin Suicides. Sadly, Day passed away in 2010 after a long battle with cancer, but I was glad to see that these two artists got to work together, at least once!
I can certainly see why Sofia Coppola wanted to collaborate with Corinne Day. Both have such a distinct way for photographing raw beauty, sadness, humor, and innocence. If you really examine and observe all these images you can certainly see all those qualities depicted. Also, I love to see all the quirky thoughts and unique inspirations that Sofia Coppola shares with the viewer… such as:
"Kirsten's beautiful, but she doesn't look like TV's idea of a perfect teenager. Even though she has that all-American look. I like her little vampire teeth."
She also mentions how she was inspired by her brother, Roman Coppola, and his friends growing up in the 70s for the character, Trip Fontaine… I don't know about you, but I often wondered for years who she based Trip after!
Sofia Coppola also reveals how Japanese photographer Takashi Homma played such a major influence on her while shooting the film. She states, "There's something sweet about his pictures of suburbia and the way he photographs girls; you can tell he likes them, but he's not at all lecherous. Anyway, he has a photo of feet hanging off the bed in a hotel room — I wanted to have a shot like that in the film, to go with the line from the book; "A half eaten sandwich sat atop the landing where someone had felt too sad to finish it."
Of course, these were only some of the unique influences that Sofia Coppola mentions, but I so enjoyed reading what was going through her head at the time of filming. Just to know what she was inspired by makes her film that much more intriguing. In addition, I think Corinne Day did such an excellent job at capturing all that Sofia Coppola was feeling with her characters.
This was probably one of my favorite editorials to come out of The Face magazine due to the fact that I think both Coppola and Day have such a deep understanding as to what it feels like to be a teenage girl… the joy, the sadness, the awkwardness, and everything else in between. Perhaps because they are both observers they are able to see adolescence in such a unique, beautiful, and profound way.
I truly wish The Face magazine was still in publication! It's editorials like this that made the magazine so cutting edge in terms of youth culture and style for over two decades. This was certainly one of their most memorable issues. I so admire the whole Virgin Suicides feeling mixed in with a Corinne Day sensibility. A totally amazing and inspiring collaboration between two dynamic women in photography and filmmaking.
The Face editorial images © 2000 The Face. All Rights Reserved.