implicitly Forceful and garish meditations

in the twilit and allegorical film art

 of Gia Coppola


by Gary W. Wright


        Long before she was born, the life of Gian-Carla “Gia” Coppola aka “GC” was already complicated by controversy and catastrophe.  For the dream of her legendary, storied, indomitable and innovative indie film artist grandparents Eleanor and Francis Coppola to create, own and run their own American Zoetrope Studio had died along with the failure of the allegorical Coppola indie film ONE FROM THE HEART [1982] to ignite the box office in 1982.  Shortly after, the fatal helicopter crash that killed actor/writer/director Vic Morrow and illegally hired and employed child extras Renee Chen and Myca Le around 2:20 am in the early morning of July 23, 1982 on the George Folsey jr. produced John Landis set of the twilit, allegorical, Kathleen Kennedy associate produced, Frank Marshall produced and Landis and Steven Spielberg executive produced Landis, Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller docufeature film TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE [1983] brought an end to the exuberant and hopeful New Hollywood film art and artist era to which Coppola had been the inspirational leader and turned audiences against Coppola family friend George Lucas due to his decision to continued working with Kennedy, Marshall and Spielberg after the TZ disaster.  Last but not least, the death of her father, Gian-Carlo “Gio” Coppola, the eldest son of Eleanor and Francis, after a boating accident on May 26, 1986 left her overshadowed by death and without a father when she was born on January 1, 1987.

        Not that this fact prevented Coppola and her aunt Sofia Carmina [SCC] Coppola from using the newborn GC to play the baby self of Zoe Montez-played by Heather McComb-the daughter of Charlotte Montez-played by GC’s great-aunt Talia Shire-as an implicitly hopeful symbol of the rebirth of film art in general and that of the Coppola clan in particular in the neo decade of the Nineties in their twilit and allegorical indie docufeature short film “Life Without Zoe” [1989], the middle segment of the twilit and allegorical indie docufeature triptych NEW YORK STORIES [1989], a collaboration released on March 1, 1989 which perhaps helped inspire GC to take up the film art life in time.  However, unlike most other film artists other than Sarah Polley, GC showed no interest in the dread allegorical Zone Wars when she donned the co-writer/co-director hats with Tracy Antonopoulos on the daylit and allegorical short indie docufeature film NON PLUS ONE [2010], a staccato and pop artsy film released in 2010 which came across as a series of colourful and fashion luvin’ photographs edited together to tell the story of a lonely, struggling and implicitly Wes Anderson linked young writer-played by her uncle Jason Schwartzman, who openly linked the film to Anderson via his roles in numerous Anderson films which were shot in the same staccato pop art style as NON PLUS ONE-who may or may not have met and fallen in luv with the beautiful young blonde woman of his dreams-played by Kirsten Dunst-one fateful night at a bar, all to the tune of the twilit, allegorical and Schwartzman written Coconut Records tune “Is This Sound Okay?” [2009], thus implying that Antonopoulos and GC were gently roasting the then bachelor Anderson.

Curiously, after that small beginning, GC then embraced the Zone Wars and continued the Coppola tradition of implicitly roasting Canadian film art, film artists and film “scholars” and Lucas in her film art when she donned the writer/director hats and teamed up with Francis-who did some voiceover [VO] work as a judge-Shire-who played sympathetic high school guidance counsellor Mrs. Ganem-and her cousin Bailey Coppola-who played Seth-to create her first twilit, allegorical and slightly computer generated imagery [CGI] enhanced indie docufeature film PALO ALTO [2013], released on August 29, 2013 and inspired by the twilit and allegorical James Franco short story collection Palo Alto [2010], which also continued the Coppola tradition of literary art inspiring film art.


“Oh?  See we got a wise one here, huh?”


        Indeed, GC implicitly affirmed an interest in blasting Canadians linked to film art right from the start, with the camera slowly and relentless zooming across a deserted parking lot in the Los Angeles suburb of Palo Alto like a slow motion bullet towards a lone Oldsmoblie whose red and white colours evoked the red, white and true Maple Leaf flag of Canada.  Inside we found two teens, Teddy Morrison and Fred-played by Jack Kilmer and Nat Wolff, respectively-who resembled and were implicitly linked to eccentric Zone War “scholar” Gary W. “Gardevil” Wright and film artist Jason Reitman whose relations had been strained as a result of infamous Toronto International Film Festival [TIFF] lists and the brash, confident, knowing, twilit, allegorical, slightly CGI enhanced and implicitly Gardevil roasting Reitman indie docufeature film YOUNG ADULT [2011], implying that GC was also contributing to the tragicomic sub-genre of the dread allegorical Zone Wars known despairingly as “Cinema Garite” with PALO ALTO. 

Indeed, the fact that the two teens were arguing over kings when first met affirmed their link to Reitman, Wright and TIFF, reminding us that the monarch of the United Kingdom was still the symbolic head of state of Canada and that the new permanent HQ of TIFF was located at King and John Streets in Toronto on land donated by the Reitman family.  The sight and sound of Fred soon unexpectedly putting the Olds into drive and smashing the car into a nearby wall reaffirmed that implicit interest in Reitman, as the crash evoked the sight and sound of the implicitly Wright linked Mavis Gary-played by Charlize Theron-crashing her red and white Canucklehead Mini into a signpost as she turned into a hotel parking lot at one point in YOUNG ADULT.  The fact that after the crash and after the lone title PALO ALTO in pale turquoise letters on a black background flashed on the screen, Fred turned out to have a friend named Jason King-played by A.I. Smithee-who had the same Christian name of Reitman and a surname that again reminded us that TIFF’s new permanent HQ was located at John and King Streets in Toronto also affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Reitman.  Fred’s luv of smoking also evoked Reitman’s first brash, confident, knowing, twilit, allegorical, slightly CGI enhanced and implicitly David Lynch toasting indie docufeature film THANK YOU FOR SMOKING [2005], implicitly reaffirming that GC was addressing Reitman on one level in PALO ALTO. 

As for Teddy, the fact that he went on to atone for leaving a car accident that he caused by doing community work in a children’s library also affirmed his implicit link to Wright, for this library work evoked Wright’s work as a Library Technician at the Streetsville Secondary School library in Mississauga, Ontario.  Thus, the sight of Teddy leaving behind his community hour work in the children’s library and the self destructive Fred, last seen wearing a Canada evoking red jacket and white t-shirt as he drove that equally red and white Canucklehead Oldsmobile into the opposite lane and played chicken with oncoming cars one fateful night, for more fulfilling artistic pursuits in a retirement home wearing an equally Canadian red and white volunteer smock and a possible hookup with April-played by Emma Roberts-in the end, implied that GC hoped that Wright would also leave behind his TIFF with the possibly self destructive Reitman, grow up, get a life and some luv and devote himself to creating real art instead of “enlightening essays” on twilit and allegorical film art.  At any rate, the fact that Ted’s mother and sister, Sherry and Emma Morrison, were played by Janet Jones and Emma Gretzky, respectively, affirmed the implicit link of Freddy and Ted to Canadian and Ontario film art, film artists and film “scholars”, as Jones and Gretzky were linked to Canada and Ontario due to being the wife and daughter, respectively, of Brantford, Ontario born and raised hockey hero, Wayne Gretzky.  Fred and Teddy’s curiously callous use of the slutty and implicitly Polley linked Emily-played by Zoe Levin-for casual sexual release also affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Canadian film art, artists and “scholars”, and implied that GC was not particularly fond of Polley, an implicit interest in Polley affirmed by the film’s allusions to the daylit and allegorical Polley indie docufeature films AWAY FROM HER [2006] and TAKE THIS WALTZ [2011], the latter of which implicitly addressed SCC.

        Curiously, the tragicomic story of Emily, Fred and Teddy was interwoven throughout the film with the equally tragicomic story of a divorced, lonely and thirty something Palo Alto high school teacher and girl’s soccer coach known as Mr. B-fittingly played by Franco-who was implicitly linked to the then equally divorced and lonesome Lucas.  As Mr. B. failed in his attempt to kindle a relationship with April, one of his high school soccer players who was also his shy and sweet teen babysitter, GC implied that she felt that Lucas had also failed in his attempt to use Portman’s perky Padme Amidala to achieve success again with the STAR WARS Tragic Trilogy, an implicit assessment shared by most audiences and by SCC, who implicitly roasted Lucas in her own equally satirical Lucas Trilogy which was comprised of the twilit, allegorical and slightly CGI enhanced indie docufeature films LOST IN TRANSLATION (2003), MARIE ANTOINETTE (2006) and SOMEWHERE (2009).  Indeed, the film’s allusions to the allegorical and implicitly Ralph Bakshi roasting Lucas indie docufeature film AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973) affirmed the film’s implicit interest in Lucas.  A tragicomic and implicit interest in Lucas that also reaffirmed the film’s interest in Wright, reminding us of his equally tragicomic luv/hate relationship with Lucas and his indie film art.

        And so PALO ALTO was a fine first feature film that evoked LOST IN TRANSLATION and MARIE ANTOINETTE, and continued the Coppola tradition of original and creative artistic excellence, this time in the implicit sad sub-genre of the dread allegorical Zone Wars known as Cinema Garite.  A possible implicit interest in Cinema Garite that GC returned to when she donned the co-writer/director/co-producer hats and teamed up again with Schwartzman, Wolff, Coleen Camp-who played Ted’s hit and run accident victim Mrs. Sally Grossman in PALO ALTO-Autumn Durald-director of photography [DOP] of PALO ALTO-Devonte Hynes and her other uncle Robert Schwartzman-composers for PALO ALTO, and now back as composer and co-executive producer, respectively-and for the first time with her cousin Pascale Coppola-who played “Little Girl”-to implicitly address Reitman and Wright again in the twilit, allegorical and slightly CGI enhanced indie docufeature film MAINSTREAM (2020), a film released on September 5, 2020. 


“Like, I’m no one special, man.”


Indeed, the sight and sound of the implicitly Reitman linked bartender Jake-played by Wolff-and the charismatic and implicitly Wright or David Cronenberg linked indie man of mystery Link aka “Mouse Man” aka “Cockroach” aka “No One Special” aka Alex Goodrich-played by Andrew Garfield-collaborating with the disaffected and implicitly GC linked Magic Alley club bartender Frankie Cabot-as haunted by the death of her father as GC presumably was to affirm her implicit link to GC, and played by Maya Hawke-on the “No One Special” podcast series affirmed that CGI was again addressing Reitman and either Cronenberg or Wright.  And, if the latter, this time making implicit fun of Wright and his Zone War website after ten years of watching it slowly transform from incomprehensible and illogical nonsense to the rational and coherent site it is today by making fun of Link and his “No One Special” podcast.  A podcast that succeeded despite the many faults of No One Special, implying that GC thought that Wright was succeeding with his website despite his many faults.  Or, if Link was implicitly linked to Cronenberg, that Cronenberg was succeeding with his film art despite his many faults.

At any rate, MAINSTREAM and PALO ALTO implicitly impressed Disney, Marvel and Cate Shortland, for they teamed up to implicitly link GC to reformed Russian assassin Yelena Belova-played by Florence Pugh-and had her link up with the implicitly Eleanor linked Melina Vostokoff aka “Black Widow”-played by Rachel Weisz-the implicitly Francis linked Alexei Shostakov aka “Red Guardian”-played by David Harbour-the implicitly SCC linked Natasha Romanoff aka “Black Widow”-played by Scarlett Johansson-to battle a team of Wicked Black Widows created by the Evil, brainwashing and implicitly Martin Scorsese linked Dreyko-played by Ray Winstone-in the twilit, allegorical and CGI enhanced super satirical animaction film BLACK WIDOW (2021), a film released on July 3, 2021.  An implication that did not stop GC from continuing the storied Coppola clan tradition but differing from Francis and SCC by possibly locating her oeuvre despairingly in the dark, dank, despondent, dispirited and always dismal “Cinema Garite” depths of…Garo Bajo.






Franco, James.  Twilit Alto.  New York: Scribner, 2010.