Gia Coppola and Maya Hawke said they have been tested repeatedly for the virus since arriving, as required by festival organizers for participants from outside Europe.
Coronavirus lockdowns have kept most US filmmakers and actors away from the Venice Film Festival, but Gia Coppola and Maya Hawke have brought a bit of today’s America to the Lido with “Mainstream,” a skewering look at YouTube and influencer culture.
The two descendants of Hollywood royalty (Coppola is a grandchild of Francis Ford and Hawke is the first-born of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke) said they have been tested repeatedly for the virus since arriving, as required by festival organisers for participants from outside Europe.
Hanne Jacobsen & Mads Mikkelsen at the 'Miss Marx' screening for the 77th Venice Film Festival— Getty Images Entertainment (@GettyVIP) September 5, 2020
More #GettyVideo🎥 #VeniceFilmFestival 👉 https://t.co/KOp1inimak#Venezia77 #VeniceFilmFestival2020 @la_Biennale #BiennaleCinema2020 @theofficialmads #MadsMikkelsen @MadsItaly @Lexus pic.twitter.com/0u30Co58Fj
“It feels like a moment where we’re like ‘OK, we can follow the rules and we can still celebrate art and filmmaking and protect each other, keep each other safe,’” Hawke said, adding that she appreciated, in particular, the discipline of festival-goers in adhering to Italy’s anti-virus precautions that include mask mandates and social distancing norms.
In the US, “we’re still really struggling and having trouble working together. And that’s what feels so good about being here: that everyone is working together really, really well and respecting each other,” she said on Saturday.
It’s Coppola’s second feature-length film and second appearance at Venice, after her 2013 debut “Palo Alto,” competed in the Horizons section for up-and-coming talent, where “Mainstream” is also making its debut.
The film stars Hawke as Frankie, a Los Angeles bartender whose YouTube video of a charismatic nobody, played by Andrew Garfield, becomes an internet sensation. The film explores the underbelly of influencer culture and the constant need to get attention from strangers on social media.
“It asks the question about whether or not it’s possible to make art while you’re still trying to get attention and look for likes,” said Hawke, currently getting her own attention for her role on the Netflix series “Stranger Things." Hawke said her instinctive answer is no, but allows that Garfield’s final performance in which his persona unravels online certainly counts as art.
VIDEO | Another speech of Mads during the event of the Kinéo Awards at #Venezia77 in Venice, Italy 🇮🇹 on September 5th, 2020. #MadsMikkelsen #VeniceFilmFestival— Mads Mikkelsen France News (@MadsMikkelsenFR) September 5, 2020
Via IG story - https://t.co/nBeEpLH9DW pic.twitter.com/Aptn7sOm5V
Coppola said she was inspired to make the film by “A Face in the Crowd,” the 1957 film starring Andy Griffith about a drifter who becomes a radio and television sensation. “Mainstream” is essentially a redux and variation.
“The morals for me are that all that glitters is not gold, and community and connection is really important,” Coppola said.
The festival, the first major in-person cinema showcase after Covid-19 locked down the film industry, wraps up on September 12. In addition to the Horizons competition, 18 films are competing for the Golden Lion in the main selection.