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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

When a Younger Sofia Coppola & Zoe Cassavetes Made Their Personal TV Present: Revisit Hello-Octane (1994)

It is smart that Sofia Coppola and Zoe Cassavetes could be buddies. Not solely are they each revered filmmakers of Technology X, they’re each daughters of maverick American auteurs, a situation with its benefits in addition to its disadvantages. The benefits, in Coppola’s case, have included the flexibility to get Zoetrope, her father Francis Ford Coppola’s manufacturing firm, to foot the invoice for a undertaking like Hello-Octane: within the phrases of a 1994 W journal profile, “a non-talk present through which Sofia and Zoe drive round and interview cool folks, primarily their buddies” — a bunch that included Keanu Reeves, Martin Scorsese, Gus Van Sant, and the Beastie Boys.

Coppola and Cassavetes didn’t do all of the interviewing themselves. Their correspondents included the photographer Shawn Mortensen, whom they despatched off to Paris Trend Week to speak to the likes of Naomi Campbell, Karl Lagerfeld, and André Leon Talley, and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, who hosted his personal common section. “Thurston’s Alley” was often shot actually there, within the alley alongside the constructing the place he lived in New York, and, to it, he lured visitors like Johnny Ramone and Sylvia Miles. However in a single very particular episode, he visits the Condé Nast constructing to interview none apart from Anna Wintour — and, in one of many moments Hello-Octane‘s viewers have by no means forgotten, to explain the mayonnaise-based hair styling strategy of Pixies Bassist Kim Deal.

“I wrote the script ’trigger I used to be so into vehicles,” the younger Coppola advised W. “And I’ve entry to all these fascinating folks — these actors and musicians. However once you see them interviewed on tv, they simply discuss their characters and it’s so boring. The units are all the time hideously ugly. TV folks all the time say they wish to cater to folks my age, however they don’t know how you can do it. So we simply wished to include the issues we’re inquisitive about — vehicles, portray, music.” In a single episode, she and Cassavetes take monster-truck classes; in one other, she will get a bass lesson from the Minutemen’s Mike Watt; one other options an prolonged profile of psychedelo-sexual-apocalyptic painter Robert Williams, whom Coppola’s cousin Nicolas Cage turns as much as reward as “a modern-day Hieronymus Bosch.”

Hello-Octane aired at 11:00 at evening on Comedy Central, a time slot between Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Saturday Night time Dwell. It solely did so 3 times earlier than its cancellation, however every of these broadcasts gives a powerful if considerably makeshift distillation of a sure mid-nineties Gen-X sensibility, whose outward smirking disaffection is belied by its overpowering subcultural enthusiasm and sense of enjoyable. “I wouldn’t change it as a result of a part of the sloppiness makes it distinctive and what it’s,” Coppola stated in a more moderen interview. “I believe if something has sincerity and coronary heart, that is it.” She might have recognized even on the time that it was all too pure to final. “Comedy Central says our present’s not humorous sufficient,” she says to Cassavetes on the finish of the second episode. “I believe it’s humorous that they gave us a present,” Cassavetes replies, and Coppola has to present it to her: “That’s… that’s humorous.”

Associated content material:

Lick the Star: Sofia Coppola’s Very First Movie Follows a Seventh-Grade Conspiracy (1998)

Louis CK Ridicules Avant-Garde Artwork on Nineties MTV Present

Shut Private Pal: Watch a 1996 Portrait of Gen-X Definer Douglas Coupland

Andy Warhol’s 15 Minutes: Uncover the Postmodern MTV Selection Present That Made Warhol a Star within the Tv Age (1985-87)

Revisit Flip-On, the Modern TV Present That Bought Canceled Proper within the Center of Its First Episode (1969)

Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His initiatives embody the Substack publication Books on Cities, the guide The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll via Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.

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