A Quick-Witted Love Letter From Indie Hollywood's Favorite Cousins
Film royalty Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman conspire with YouTube virtuoso Graydon Sheppard of “Sh*t Girls Say” fame to create today’s videogram, which features the cousin duo bantering on love and obsession. Shooting six-second vignettes on the iPhones inspired by Twitter’s new mobile app Vine, Sheppard pays homage to Coppola’s latest feature A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, whose comic flavor hinges on absurdist amorous pursuits. The film stars Charlie Sheen as an unrepentant LA playboy who spirals out of control when his girlfriend leaves him and enlists the help and guidance of best friend Kirby Star—played by Schwartzman—to win her back in a 1970s-style romp complete with surreal revenge fantasies and winking parallels to Sheen’s own very public meltdown. A recent Academy Award nominee for Best Original Screenplay, Coppola is the son of polymath Francis Ford and brother of fellow filmmaker Sofia; Schwartzman, meanwhile, has made a name for himself starring in Wes Anderson films from Rushmore to Moonrise Kingdom, on which Roman collaborated, and cousin Sofia's Marie Antoinette. From major film production to casual smart phone clips, Coppola and Schwartzman know how to keep their sense of humor, while keeping it in the family. We caught up with Roman to go deeper into his amorous inspirations.
First serious kiss:
It was in Morocco. I was 16. The girl was an actress in a movie I was working on. We started off kissing through a piece of fabric—as a tease, she was holding back. Then, the real thing.
Favourite romantic exchange in movie:
Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window. Or a more cynical choice, from Gilda:
Johnny Farrell: I want to go with you, Gilda. Please take me. I know I did everything wrong...
Gilda: [sobbing] Isn't it wonderful? Nobody has to apologize, because we were both stinkers, weren't we? Isn't it wonderful?
Johnny Farrell: Wonderful.
Craziest thing you've ever done for love:
I can't think of anything too crazy.
Love song-cum-guilty pleasure:
“I melt with you,” by Modern English.
Filmmaker Gia Coppola Conjures a Las Vegas Love Story for Her Cousin’s New Music Video
Musician Robert Schwartzman stars as a debt-ridden goofball on the run from the mob who falls for a blackjack dealer, played by Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu, in director Gia Coppola’s new video for “All My Life”. The video remixes footage from Coppola’s recent short film Casino Moon, shot over two frantic days and nights on location in Nevada’s gambling mecca. A Sin City-based homage to romantic heist movies like Badlands and Bonnie and Clyde, the short was made as part of a series commissioned by director Alexi Tan for Elle China and premiered at the Shanghai International Film Festival earlier this year. Written when Schwartzman was single and channeling the feeling of being by oneself, “All My Life” is taken from the Rooney frontman’s debut solo album Double Capricorn released last year and was adapted to soundtrack Casino Moon. “When you fall in love you kind of build your own little world together and lose touch of the other world,” explains Schwartzman. “In Gia’s short, they fall in love pretty quickly, keeping up with the Vegas speed of things. I feel like it’s an adventure, like love is an adventure.” A member of the filmmaking dynasty, Coppola’s fashion films for the likes of Opening Ceremony, United Arrows and DvF—imbued with the laconic eccentricity of her native Los Angeles—have cemented her reputation as a rising cinematic talent. Here, cousins Schwartzman and Coppola talk Vegas time warps and electric blue suits.
Robert Schwartzman: This is the first time we went to Vegas together. My first trip there was when I turned 21. I thought I cracked the code. I thought I could beat the system. I ended up winning a lot of money, and then losing it, and then a lot more.
Gia Coppola: I remember when you came back from that trip and everyone was like, “Don’t mention Vegas to Robert.” You were so bummed.
RS: I lost a lot of money. I got cocky. Anyway, I think Vegas is actually really calming. All the energy and craziness is relaxing in a weird way. I don’t know what it is. I like being awake and knowing that there is so much life going on. You lose track of time.
GC: Yeah, that’s one of the reasons why I like it. Everything is alive to some extent—there’s always someone around. That’s why grandpa [Francis Ford Coppola], your uncle, used to always go there to write: you can always get a burger at any time of night, you never know what time it is, and you never feel the pressure to go to bed.
RS: When you play shows there the bus parks in the back, you enter through the employee entrance and eat at the behind-the-scenes buffet with all the showgirls and cocktail waitresses. It’s pretty wild. You feel like you are part of something that most people don’t get to see.
GC: Whoa. It’s so hard to imagine what it’s like to live there so it’s nice when you get to actually see people kind of off duty. You can be as weird as you want in Vegas and no one will judge you.
RS: One time I was in Vegas and I had on this pea coat that I had made in electric blue leather. Very bold, very bright, like neon blue almost. It looked really ridiculous. My brother was with me and there was this dude in a snakeskin suit who was staring at me, in awe of my jacket. My brother was like, “Even a man in a snakeskin suit was impressed by your electric blue pea coat!”
GC: I feel like we’re more siblings than cousins. You used to drive me to school every morning and rub my face in the dirt.
RS: I always thought I was so much older than you because I’d have to babysit you. When everyone would go see a movie they’d leave me behind with you. Even though we were so close in age. In my mind I was always looking out for you. A lot of memories.
GC: We always had to share a room on family trips.
RS: Yeah, eating at the kids table and going on family trips. You and I spent the most time together. We just have fun together.
GC: We’re still the kids.
An Erotic Subversion of the Ultimate Amorous Icon from Creative Wunderkind Bart Hess
Sheath your arrows: the voluptuous red heart, international symbol of love, is reimagined in this a visceral new short by genre-defying Dutch artist Bart Hess. With echoes of high-tech fetish fashion and Jeff Koons’ contemporary pop art classic “Hanging Heart,” Hess’ latest video stages a Sapphic encounter from within crimson latex balloons. “I want to create a tension between the body and material—almost as though they become one,” says the multidisciplinary creative, whose work at the edge of sensation has included collaborations with Nick Knight and Lucy McRae, a neon fantasy for Tod’s and a head-to-toe slime outfit for the artwork to Lady Gaga’s last album Born This Way. Here Hess turns to fringe science, confessing a fascination with the mysterious phenomenon of autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). “It’s a physical sensation that most people describe as a tingling in the head or a ‘brain orgasm’ that can be caused by all kinds of sounds,” he explains of the intense experience, which, if you believe its proponents, can be provoked by online uploads of mundane tasks. “One video that definitely triggers something with me is of a woman playing with a balloon. Together with an amazing team I translated the idea into my own short.”
What material are the balloons made from?
Bart Hess: They're actually just normal balloons, but giant. I wanted to create the feeling that the balloons were made of fluid metal, so we made them really shiny with loads of lube.
Could the models breathe in there?
BH: Yes, of course! We tested with the balloons for weeks to make sure it was safe. You can actually stay in there for about 10 minutes but for the shoot we only did takes of two minutes. We were really lucky with the models—they weren’t scared at all and knew how to pose, even with two-meter balloons on their heads.
Any risqué anecdotes from the set?
BH: We were shooting this amazing shot of the girls’ interaction. After some minutes I felt the models should get some fresh air. With my Dutch accent I said “Girls it is time to breathe now!” Awkwardly, the girls thought I said, “Girls, it is time to breed now!”
Angelica (left) wears rose gold scrapers by H&H, bodycon dress by Victoria Beckham; Alice (right) wears rose gold scrapers by H&H, satin bra by Eres, net bra (worn underneath) from American Apparel, bodycon underskirt by Wolford.