A Pop-Up of Paintings, Romance Novels and Good Karma in the Hamptons
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.
The Godfather of Avant-Garde Cinema Celebrates His 90th With a Major Retrospective and World Premiere
Jonas Mekas reflects on the relationship between memory and image in this clip from his feature-length film, Outtakes From the Life of a Happy Man, which premieres this week at London's Serpentine Gallery. The Lithuanian-born filmmaker, poet and avant-garde instigator assembled this visual diary from the over 50 years of footage shot since his emigration to the US in 1949. Upon arriving in Brooklyn Mekas borrowed money to buy his first Bolex camera, and so began to capture every aspect of his life, recording intimate moments with family and extended circles of friends in pastoral landscapes in addition to the urban sprawl of his adopted city. Using previously unseen footage, here the director creates an impressionistic vision of his autobiography, accompanied by his own poetic voiceover. The film jumps forward non-chronologically, formally enacting Mekas’ dictum that life is unknowable, memory transient and the image the only reliable manifestation of the past. Old footage is spliced with recent shots of the auteur at work on the film as we watch it, hunched over reels late into the night, physically cutting and pasting narratives together. Mekas was instrumental in the underground culture of 1950s and 1960s New York, screening at small galleries on the Lower East Side and working with the likes of Yoko Ono, Allen Ginsberg and Andy Warhol. In 1970, he co-founded the Anthology Film Archives, a groundbreaking center for the preservation and exhibition of experimental film. His work has since been exhibited at such major venues as the Venice Biennale, PS1 Contemporary Art Centre and the Centre Georges Pompidou.
Jonas Mekas’ 90th birthday is marked by three separate shows across London and Paris. In London, an exhibition of work opens today and runs through January 27 at the Serpentine Gallery and BFI Southbank's season of Mekas films begins December 6. A retrospective runs at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris until January 7.