Phoenix's frontman Thomas Mars is domestic-partnered to OG hipster director Sofia Coppola. Sofia is about to release a new movie, Somewhere, where she most certainly downscaled the period-piece ambitions of Marie Antoinette. Mars, riding high on a wave of critical acclaim, TV ad placement, Grammys, etc. has provided a soundtrack. Is the film then gonna sound like a Silver Lake dance party or a commercial for the Cadillac SRX? BBC 1 spoke with Mars about the assignment:
"It's very minimal," says Mars. "It's almost like sound design. It wasn't like writing songs, it was more about trying to make a sound that fits with a Ferrari and the city of Los Angeles's theme. It was more of an engineer work than a composer."
According to the official synopsis, Somewhere seems like a cross between Lost in Translation and the New York Stories episode that a very young Sofia scripted for her dad:
Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) is a bad-boy A-List actor stumbling through a life of excess while living at Hollywood's legendary Chateau Marmont Hotel. His days are a haze of drinks, girls, fast cars and fawning fans. Cocooned in this celebrity-induced artificial world, Johnny has lost all sense of his true self. Until, that is, his 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) unexpectedly shows up and unwittingly begins to anchor him. Johnny's fragile connection to real life slowly revives in her presence. So when the time comes fro Cleo to leave, his sense of loss is palpable, but the gift of hope she has also brought him leads to a beautiful, poetic denouement imbued with all of Coppola's remarkable powers to conjure mood and atmosphere.
More from the BBC 1 article on Phoenix:
Now, their patience has been rewarded (with a Grammy award for best alternative album for last year's Wolfgang Amadeus' Phoenix) - an experience they found both alien and exciting.
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"It felt like a weird planet to be on. It felt like deliverance and it was really nice.
"It's closer to a Cirque du Soleil trip than anything else. It's very unique," says Mars of the evening where Lady Gaga performed covered in dirt with Elton John on a double-sided piano.
"When you win, what is crazy is you have people who you admire come and almost welcome you to the club. It was very weird. Neil Young came and said 'welcome.'"