Sofia Coppola has shown herself time and again to have an extraordinary natural gift at capturing small ironies and tiny comedies of human interaction; her films are rife with funny little moments of misunderstandings and awkwardness between her characters. But while she can see the little irony, she seems completely oblivious to the big one; neither in the films nor in any interview she has ever given does Ms. Coppola give any sign of realizing that the problem of being bored in a luxury hotel is not, perhaps, an insoluble problem.
It was a much better picture than Kane—if they’d just left it as it was.
This Vanity Fair piece is from 2004, but the heartbreak of the search for the complete The Magnificent Ambersons will always be the same.
I think it’s not a serious medium at the moment. The product is not serious. I believe that the ground has been swept away by multinational companies – the same cookie-cutter stamped them out. They do the same things at all the studios, which is, essentially, to ignore the content of the film and deal entirely with its results. In acting terms, that means very bad acting – result acting instead of process acting. I don’t despair, because I’ve seen it happen before, but I think it’s in direct relation to the idea of who has final cut. It happens when final cut belongs to a committee, and to a committee of rather startled deer, who don’t have strong opinions and dare not venture until they hear what their bosses have to say.
Arthur Penn on the future of cinema, 1995.
Also - this 1989 NPR interview with Penn reveals the extraordinarily articulate and thoughtful director on why the violence of Bonnie and Clyde was justified, how he manipulates the medium, and more comments on the current soullessness of modern film - comments which are still entirely relevant today.