Sofia Coppola talks about her life in Life Cinematic

Sofia Coppola: Life Cinematic is on BBC Four

In the fourth episode of Life Cinematic, BBC Arts’ in-depth exploration of film for BBC Four (showed earlier this week), Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Sofia Coppola revealed to presenter Edith Bowman why audiences never got to hear what Bill Murray whispered in Scarlett Johansson’s ear at the end of Lost In Translation – expanding on one of modern cinema’s much-debated mysteries.

“I was thinking about the Italians, because they used to film and add the sound later. I didn’t intend for it to be silent and then in the editing we were like oh it’s better if it’s just between them and the audience puts their own interpretation, it’s so much stronger that way.

It wasn’t directly, but it did  kind of start out as an homage to the Italians, and also because I was kind of stuck, like how are we going to convey the epicness of that moment. But I never meant it to be that way, so somethings things work out in a way that you don’t expect.”

Talking about Sofia’s new film On The Rocks, Edith asks if Sofia’s father, Francis Ford Coppola, influenced Bill Murray’s character:

“No, my dad’s not like Felix, but of course that love and bond that’s so specific to your dad is definitely in it, but my dad’s not like a bon vivant, as over the top as Felix. It’s definitely from a mix of a bunch of guys of that generation all put together in this funny character that Bill brings to life. But I did have a friend who spied on her husband with her playboy father, and that was the beginning seed of the story. But I’ve never done that.”

Life Cinematic is a series of television specials delving into the art of filmmaking. Each episode features an in-depth interview with a renowned filmmaker, together with a selection of classic clips that have influenced their life and career. Sofia’s eclectic choices range from contemporary cult classics, To Die For, Safe and Fish Tank, to some vintage Hollywood greats including Gilda and A Place In The Sun.

As well as discussing her latest film On The Rocks, which sees her reunited with actor Bill Murray, she also reflects on her working methods and the influence her father Francis Ford Coppola had on her early viewing habits.

Also coming up on BBC Four, Inside Cinema: Guilt-Free Pleasures, is an hour-long celebration of so-called ‘trashy’ films from film critic Catherine Bray, with narration from comedian Mae Martin. The documentary looks at every variety of guilty pleasure to figure out why these films are so much fun to watch, but also why they end up labelled ‘guilty pleasures’ at all.

Watch the programme here.

About BBC Arts

We believe arts and music make the world a better place by bringing people together through shared experience and understanding, providing a place of inspiration, a means to navigate a complex world and significant health benefits. The BBC is the biggest creator of Arts content and is Britain’s creative partner – allowing the UK to experience the very best arts – when they want, how they want.

  • The nation’s stage: access to arts and culture programming for all through the licence fee – we create and showcase more arts and culture than any other broadcaster
  • An Innovator: constantly finding new ways to bring the best quality culture to audiences – working with the Arts sector as partner and acting as a hot-house for new talent
  • Britain’s creative partner – a bold force in the UK creative sector as creator and commissioner, also a platform for new talent
  • An investor in quality – we only present the highest quality Arts and culture programming, crafted by skilled production teams and shared with all audiences
  • Bringing the nation together – like no other we create and amplify moments in Arts and culture, cutting through with a broad audience
Email AlertPlease enter your email address if you would like to receive alerts from Screen Innovation on new stories