It is smart that Sofia Coppola and Zoe Cassavetes could be pals. Not solely are they each revered filmmakers of Era 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 power to get Zoetrope, her father Francis Ford Coppola’s manufacturing firm, to foot the invoice for a challenge like Hello-Octane: within the phrases of a 1994 W journal profile, “a non-talk present wherein Sofia and Zoe drive round and interview cool folks, basically their pals” — 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 attention-grabbing folks — these actors and musicians. However while you see them interviewed on tv, they only speak about 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 do not know how one can do it. So we simply needed to include the issues we’re involved in — 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 night time on Comedy Central, a time slot between Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Saturday Evening Stay. It solely did so 3 times earlier than its cancellation, however every of these broadcasts presents 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 mentioned in a newer interview. “I feel if something has sincerity and coronary heart, that is it.” She could 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 feel 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:
Primarily based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His tasks embody the Substack publication Books on Cities, the e-book The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by way of Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.