George Monbiot
George Monbiot

I spent some time this morning preparing a lecture on William Gibson‘s Burning Chrome, a collection of short stories that ushered in the science-fiction aesthetic we now think of as ‘cyberpunk’. Since Prime Minister May began the process of the UK leaving the European Union, I have reinvested in these sticky postmodern narratives of chance and possibility. I have also been distracting myself with rarely-seen photographs of filmmakers and literary figures. Among today’s treasures was an image of Leo Tolstoy emerging from a lake on his estate, and a candid photograph of Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray on the set of Lost in Translation c. 2003. I read that Patti Smith has purchased the home of French poet Arthur Rimbaud, located in the “sleep French town of Roche”. And, finally, I enjoyed looking over George Monbiot‘s career advice for those seeking to pursue life as a journalist. Among his tips? Live as cheaply as possible: “This is a good discipline for any freelancer, however well you’re doing.”

Sofia Coppola behind the camera

The Directors Series begins reviewing the work of American filmmaker Sofia Coppola, taking stock of her early acting career and first forays into the world of directing. Cameron Beyl begins by recounting his encounter with Coppola’s first film:

“[T]he first film I ever saw from director Sofia Coppola was 2003’s Lost in Translation. I was captivated by the quiet sensitivity of her characters and the evocative melancholy of the Tokyo setting, and as such, I’ve come to regard her as an accomplished filmmaker with a uniquely sensitive worldview worth expressing.”

You can read more (and watch clips) over at Beyl’s excellent The Directors Series.