Sofia Coppola shares some snippets from her filmmaking life

John Waters talks to Sofia Coppola at the Provincetown International Film Festival party Saturday at Land’s End Inn.
Debee Tlumacki for the Boston Globe
John Waters talks to Sofia Coppola at the Provincetown International Film Festival party Saturday at Land’s End Inn.

Sofia Coppola made a 30-minute version of her R-rated movie, “The Beguiled,” so her 6-year-old could see it.

Coppola was shocked that her 2003 movie “Lost in Translation” was a hit because she thought audiences wouldn’t connect with such entitled characters.

She doesn’t think about those negative reviews of her acting in “The Godfather III” anymore (and they never bothered her much to begin with).


Those were just a few of the details about her filmmaking life that Coppola shared when she was honored at the Provincetown International Film Festival on Saturday. Coppola picked up the festival’s Filmmaker on the Edge Award, which in years past has gone to Ang Lee, David Cronenberg, and Darren Aronofsky.

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Before accepting the prize, the writer-director — who won the top directing prize at the Cannes Film Festival last month — was interviewed at Fishermen Hall by the festival’s resident artist and hero, John Waters. Waters explained that he’d met Coppola before because he’s friends with her mother, filmmaker and writer Eleanor Coppola (Waters recommended Eleanor’s book “Notes on a Life” to the audience).

Waters, who had the audience laughing throughout the entire Q&A, praised Coppola’s latest work and said that the “The Beguiled” — the story of Southern Confederate women who take in an ailing soldier — has all of what he would have loved when he was young. “Repressed sex, handsome men . . . violence . . .”

Coppola said she was surprised she connected with the material, which is based on the 1966 book “A Painted Devil” that became the 1971 Don Siegel film “The Beguiled” starring Clint Eastwood. She never thought she’d want to do a remake.

“That’s like a bad word in my family,” she said.


But there was something about the story that appealed to Coppola — the women’s repressed lives in the South, and the effect of having a man enter their home.

(For the record, Waters said the film he’d like to remake is “Ice Castles.”)

“The Beguiled” stars Nicole Kidman, Elle Fanning, and Kirsten Dunst, who also starred in Coppola’s films “The Virgin Suicides” and “Marie Antoinette.” With that in mind, Waters asked Coppola whether Dunst might be her Divine. (Waters was referring to his own muse, Divine, who starred in many of his films, including “Pink Flamingos” and “Hairspray.)

Coppola answered that Dunst would like that comparison, and explained that she’s always been drawn to the actress because she seems like a perky blonde, but there’s humor and darkness to her.

“She’s not what you’d expect.”


Coppola said one of her next stops with “The Beguiled” is the film festival in Munich. Once she gets there, she’ll meet up with her mom, who’s showing her own new film, “Paris Can Wait.”