Sofia Coppola: Priscilla

Contemplative experience for the viewer

A beautifully made and suffocating film with details which from the start breathe luxury into the scene, the wealth and stillness that surrounds the life of Priscilla, Elvis' little toy and future wife.

She is at the same time a very ordinary school girl and a sheltered, adored figure, placed into E's glamorous world to convey a sense of home, a safe space to which he can return from his populated whereabouts. She is a benchmark for innocence, which is what the king desperately needs within his life in entertainment, what we probably all sometimes need. The scenes of his reappearances with a loud team of friends, coworkers, partymakers each time burst in and splash against her silent passing of time among designed objects, while she is painting her nails, walking barefoot on the soft carpet or trying on countless stilettos to fit the perfect, feminine and fragile appearance that he allocated to her. The man she is constantly waiting for is never alone – even after weeks of waiting for him to return from film shootings, she only has his divided attention, and is – as everyone else that surrounds him – the audience for his performance, him constantly acting for the world and himself.

I have no interest in E's personal life and consider fanship a sticky, lazy habit of focusing one's yearning into seemingly lush and pulling famous lives. But Coppola's film manages to attract me despite being about E's life and girlfriend – the director's signature is recognizable already in Lost in Translation with the special pauses she creates within the film's pace, the bubbles of breathable stillness, a certain tranquility that a viewer can embrace and fill with dreaminess.

Coppola has the ability to slow down the action and make us consider: consider an individual's life, their innermost being, their solitude. It is almost as if the main character, Priscilla or Charlotte, is surrounded by an immovable air through which only occasionally an outside world pierces.

It is this feeling and attention to small things, the details that tell the story on their own, the soft light and colors of the scenes as well as the perfected photography that keeps the attention and turns it inward, into contemplation instead of breaking and losing it through entertainment and action.