The film Priscillapresented in competition at the Venice festival, inspired by the book Elvis and melooks back on the pion that the King lived with the one who was his only wife.
The “King” seen by his wife: director Sofia Coppola has chosen to take the point of view of Priscilla Presley, so far remained in the shadows, to tell on the big screen “the ups and downsof this legendary couple.
Priscillapresented on Monday in competition at the Venice Festival, is adapted from the book Elvis and mereleased in 1985 and in which Priscilla Presley gives her version of her life alongside Elvis, to whom she was married from 1967 to 1973.Elvis and Priscilla were a legendary couple, but not much is known about her and her perspective“, underlined in a press conference Sofia Coppola, who had won the Golden Lion in 2010 with Somewhere.
Elvis met his future wife in 1957 in Germany where he did his military service, then brought her to his Graceland estate where she had to face the entourage, the touchy character and the addiction to of the king of rock’n’roll. THE “Kingmakes her her doll, chooses her dresses, makes her change her hair color…
They will have in 1968 a daughter, Lisa-Marie, who died suddenly in January 2023, but that is not enough to seal their union, which ends with the departure of Priscilla in 1973.
Priscilla by Sofia Coppola in 2023, with Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi…
Asked if her film is feminist, the director of Marie Antoinette prefer to see therea human story” on “the evolution of a young girl in this world and who ends up leaving to find her own place“. The title role is played by the American Cailee Spaeny, while the Australian Jacob Elordi, known for his role in the series Euphoriaplays Elvis.
While the Elvis by Baz Luhrmann (2022) focuses on Elvis’s relationship with his impresario, Sofia Coppola favors “Priscilla’s point of view“. The director returned to the guiding thread of her work and the distance she took with it: “I imagined myself in his story and I really tried to make the film from his point of view so that we could live his story alongside him. That’s what I love about cinema, the possibility of living the story of someone else who is so different from yourself.“.
“It’s very difficult to sit and watch a film about yourself, about your life, about your love”
The filmmaker, now 52, also shared how she enjoyed playing with color palettes, for example using shades “more vividwhen the couple travels to Las Vegas, and do research to choose the film’s soundtrack, which mixes titles from the era with other more contemporary ones.
Sofia Coppola and her actors are an exception at the Mostra, private for her 80e edition of its American stars due to the historic actors’ strike in Hollywood. The filmmaker justified the reasons for her presence in Venice as follows: “I’m here as a director and producer to support independent film and my crew, and I totally support the hard work of unions fighting for fair wages. I hope we will come to a solution quickly (…) We all want to go back to work“.
Priscilla Presley, now 78, was herself very involved in the production of the film, providing her advice and sharing her memories with Sofia Coppola and her actors. Sitting front row at the film’s press conference, she spoke about seeing herself come to life again on screen:It’s very difficult to sit and watch a film about yourself, about your life, about your love. I left, but not because I loved him anymore. He was the love of my life. It was his lifestyle that was too difficult for me and I think any woman can relate to that, she said, her voice choked with emotion, recalling her decision to leave the “King“.
“And even after the separation“, she said to conclude, “we stayed very, very close, and of course we had our daughter and I made sure he could see her all the time…»