Sofia Coppola – Rebecca Loar
February 25, 2019
The best you can hope for is a Sofia Coppola type of dream. Just the right amount of boring, but stylish in a way that makes it feel more important than it is. I like the ones where nothing happens to me at all. There’s a version of me that I could be if I weren’t always flinching, deciding, cynically advocating for my own interests, scavenging, or aggressively asserting a narrative–and I get to be that person, if infrequently. Because I have a special thing. A single recurring special thing.
My recurring dream where I wait in an extremely long line for pizza that I never order lets me be my best, most poised self.
It’s lazily paced, and I’m jaunty but disinterested. I’m not hungry and I don’t really care. I have one friend in line. The friend varies but I never try to impress them. I’m not cataloguing what they say to find patterns and themes, and I’m not testing their temperature to see if they need me or approve of me. They don’t ask me any pointed questions, they’re not in any distress and I don’t need anything from them. They don’t love me too much and they don’t love me not enough.
I’m lit by a toned down version of the Wong Kar-wai Tokyo neon lighting. Everyone else is lit by it too, and it doesn’t feel gimmicky or dated. It’s not a competition, and the dream is devoid of sexual chemistry. I don’t think anyone is hungry. Sofia doesn’t do tight close-ups and there’s always at least two of us in the shot. It’s forgiving without needing to forgive. I don’t say anything poignant and I don’t remember anything I say. I’m a medium rare steak with chilled utensils and so is everyone else.
I rarely wake up with nothing to be embarrassed about, and this is no different. The substance of this shame is the pizza, which feels like it will date this dream to a sort of late teens internet culture rehash of late 80s mtv mall culture, and also I don’t like the implication that I’m hungry at night, but it feels excusable given that without a down to earth focal point the whole exercise would tip over into pretension. I’ve never seen that Dinner with Andre movie but I can only assume there’s a meatloaf involved so it seems less french. That’s what I would do. That’s what Sofia Coppola would do, and what she does do, since Sofia Coppola directs my dream.
There’s also shame in the word “underwater” which is an unfortunate way I have to describe the stylistic pacing of my dream. It feels desperate in a way that my dream doesn’t, and the fact that my dream makes that word inescapable dims my enjoyment of the dream. It sounds like producers asking Sofia Coppola to describe the tone of her movie and her searching for something else in her mouth and only finding lip blood. Dreamy underwater Sofia Coppola lip blood.
You may be wondering about the level of presence that Sofia Coppola herself has in the dream, and I’ll tell you it’s enough that I would call it a Sofia Coppola dream. A dream brought to you by Sofia Coppola. She’s obviously not in it, but it’s her dream and she cares about it. She’s possessive of the project. It’s exactly what she wants to be doing at this point in her career. It’s important to both of us.
I’m excited because it’s the best I’ve ever been captured. That’s not to say the most realistically, but it is to say the most exhilarating and specifically close to capturing the entirety of my potential. When we love a picture of us, it’s not usually due to realism. Sofia Coppola has expertly crafted the exact peak of what could be attainable for me at the exact moment when I may stop being able to achieve it. The most precise peak with the most excruciating clarity. Every Sofia Coppola pizza dream captures exactly what I could have yesterday that I cannot have today.
You’ll never be able to see lines on your face develop, even though you’ll be able to track other tangible achievements. Today I have a house or a person who loves me that I didn’t have before and I understand that but I can’t see the specific ways that I’m not 26. I have less time now in a way that doesn’t feel concrete. I don’t feel a loss even though I understand that I have demonstrably lost things, probably more than just time.
Sofia Coppola explains to me that I am moving forward and that despite not reaching the counter and giving my order I am progressing in a way that can’t be reversed, and that the loss is not heartbreaking except in retrospect. The me I am in the pizza dream with poised equanimity and potentially a leather jacket calculates losses absently, counting on her fingers. She finds the scales balanced and fair. She doesn’t haggle because the price fairly reflects her desire. I’m thankful for Sofia Coppola and her belief in this project.