Sofia Coppola Is Going To 1980s San Francisco For Next Project Fairyland

By Nick Venable 2013-12-17 23:21:43discussion comments
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The most memorable aspect of Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation for me is that Bob and Charlotte don’t wear their feelings on their sleeves, allowing audiences to wonder about the other aspects of their lives long after the film is complete. Coppola will be working with another pair of complex characters for her next project, an adaptation of Fairyland: A Memoir of My Father from author Alysia Abbott. The book’s rights were obtained from W.W. Norton & Company by production company American Zoetrope, founded by Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas.

It’s interesting that the press release doesn’t mention Coppola directing the film, but that she’ll be writing the script with Andrew Durham, a photographer and frequent collaborator with Coppola. She’ll be producing it with her screenwriter brother Roman, who directed the 2012 comedy A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. Considering she was one of the reasons it was acquired, one has to assume she’ll be sitting in the director’s chair by the time production goes underway, but nothing is certain. She makes it clear that she loves the book and thinks it "will make an engaging and touching movie on a subject I’ve never seen before."

It’ll definitely be an interesting project, and is centered on Abbott’s childhood in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Her father Steve was a bisexual writer and activist who moved his daughter to San Francisco following the accidental death of his wife and Alysia’s mother. Steve’s homosexual behavior grows wilder as he takes his daughter to different parties and poetry readings, living the life of a single person instead of a family. Abbott both understands and rails against her father’s unique way of living, and her own life takes a vicious twist once the AIDS epidemic sets in and she gets a fateful call that her father is sick.

From a film perspective, the story works as both a family drama and a period look at San Francisco in the heyday of its carefree flamboyancy. There aren’t many films out there that feature this kind of a father-daughter relationship, and Abbott thankfully has an on-track life, so there’s little chance of this turning into a Lifetime/After School Special mash-up.

Coppola didn’t exactly bowl critics over with the "actual events" drama The Bling Ring earlier this year, but there’s a good chance Fairyland could reach an audience that has been waiting for an offbeat story like this. Find Abbott’s book at Amazon, and check out her below interview with the publication Rain Taxi for more insight into how she was able to tell her story.


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