Sofia Coppola: directing through her own lens

Sofia Coppola talks about a life and career in film and her approach to re-imagining the 1971 film, The Beguiled.
Director Sofia Coppola attends the "The Beguiled" photocall during the 70th annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 24, 2017 in Cannes, France. (Getty Images)

Sofia Coppola has carved out space as a pioneer in her own right with her award-winning, feminist movies, despite being the daughter of one of the world's most legendary filmmakers, Francis Ford Coppola. 

She is blazing her own trail as a female director in Hollywood, where most of the awards still go to men.

Recently, she broke the mould when the Cannes Film Festival named her best director for her latest film, The Beguiled. She was the first female filmmaker in 56 years to win this award, and only the second to do so in the history of the festival. In addition to that, she was the first female American director to receive that distinction. 

The Beguiled marks a departure for Coppola: it's a thriller set during the American Civil War, based on the novel by Thomas Cullinan. The book was first adapted in 1971 into a film starring Clint Eastwood. Coppola reimagines it, telling the tale through the eyes of the female characters. "It was rich material to really talk about these women at the different stages of their lives and them living together and the dynamics," says Coppola. "I just found it inspiring. I was compelled to want to make them human and as they have desire it doesn't make them crazy. That's human"

The film stars Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning and Colin Farrell. Coppola joins Tom Power from Los Angeles to talk about the film.

The Beguiled  opens in Los Angeles and New York today and across Canada and the U.S. on June 30. 

— Produced by Exan Auyoung