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Media pays for Coppola’s satire

Money comes for 'Somewhere'

The legendary Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles plays a big part in Sofia Coppola’s father-daughter drama “Somewhere,” which world preems on the Lido today.

But Italy’s lesser-known Telegatti TV prizes, held in Milan and produced by Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset, are also featured in her pic, which takes shots at tabloid life. And the Telegatti are certainly somewhat satirized.

This did not pose a problem when Coppola turned to Mediaset/Medusa for financing.

“We definitely have a playful look at the Telegatti,” she said in an interview before the “Somewhere” screening in Venice.

“Then we went and asked that company for financing, and we were glad that they would help us make the film,” she said. “We weren’t trying to make a comment about Italian showbusiness; the idea was to show that everywhere, wherever you go, it’s the same quirky entertainment world.”

Just like Coppola’s previous feature films — including “Lost in Translation” – — “Somewhere,” which has an $8 million budget, was partly financed internationally.

“I’ve worked with Paul Rassam at Pathe and Japan’s Tohokushinsha starting with ‘The Virgin Suicides’ in 1999 and through my relationship with them I’ve been able to have total creative control,” Coppola said.

Focus Features is expected to release “Somewhere” Stateside in December.

As for the film’s artistic inception, Coppola started thinking about “Somewhere” while she was living in France and “once in a while a friend would bring in an American tabloid, like ‘U.S. Weekly’ or something like that.

“I wanted to do a portrait of a kind of L.A. culture nowadays,” she said.

“I’ve always loved movies that were set in L.A., so it started with that, and this character (Johnny, played by Stephen Dorff) staying at the Chateau Marmont.

“Then his daughter came into the story (Cleo, played by Elle Fanning) and with that I put in memories of trips with my dad, because I remember that at that age it was fun to walk into these kind of adult worlds that kids don’t usually see.”

Francis Ford Coppola, who is in California at the moment, will not be making the trek to the Lido for the preem.

“Somewhere” is also the first film for Sophia Coppola after becoming a mother.

“I wrote it after my daughter (Romy) was born so I was thinking about what impact that made on me, and how that affects you. That’s definitely how the daughter came into the story.”

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