When a Young Sofia Coppola & Zoe Cassavetes Made Their Own TV Show: Revisit Hi-Octane (1994)


It makes good sense that Sofia Coppola and Zoe Cassavetes would be good friends. Not just are they both appreciated filmmakers of Generation X, they’re both children of radical American auteurs, a condition with its benefits along with its downsides. The benefits, in Coppola’s case, have actually consisted of the capability to get Zoetrope, her daddy Francis Ford Coppola’s production business, to bear the cost for a task like Hi-Octane: in the words of a 1994 W publication profile, “a non-talk program in which Sofia and Zoe drive around and interview cool individuals, basically their good friends”– a group that consisted of Keanu Reeves, Martin Scorsese, Gus Van Sant, and the Beastie Boys.

Coppola and Cassavetes didn’t do all the interviewing themselves. Their reporters consisted of the professional photographer Shawn Mortensen, whom they dispatched to Paris Fashion Week to talk with the similarity Naomi Campbell, Karl Lagerfeld, and André Leon Talley, and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore, who hosted his own routine sector. “Thurston’s Alley” was typically shot actually there, in the street along with the structure where he resided in New York, and, to it, he enticed visitors like Johnny Ramone and Sylvia Miles. In one really unique episode, he goes to the Condé Nast constructing to talk to none other than Anna Wintour– and, in one of the minutes

Hi-Octane‘s audiences have actually never ever forgotten, to explain the mayonnaise-based hair styling strategy of Pixies Bassist Kim Deal.” I composed the script ’cause I was so into cars and trucks,” the young Coppola informed

“And I have access to all these fascinating individuals– these artists and stars. When you see them talked to on tv, they simply talk about their characters and it’s so dull. The sets are constantly hideously awful. Television individuals constantly state they wish to accommodate individuals my age, however they have no concept how to do it. We simply desired to include the things we’re interested in– cars and trucks, painting, music.” In one episode, she and Cassavetes take monster-truck lessons; in another, she gets a bass lesson from the Minutemen’s Mike Watt; another includes a prolonged profile of psychedelo-sexual-apocalyptic painter Robert Williams, whom Coppola’s cousin Nicolas Cage shows up to applaud as “a modern-day Hieronymus Bosch.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQymqeWbM-I Hi-Octane aired at 11:00 in the evening on Comedy Central, a time slot in between Whose Line Is It Anyway? and Coppola said in a more recent interview Saturday Night Live

It just did so 3 times prior to its cancellation, however each of those broadcasts provides a strong if rather makeshift distillation of a specific mid-nineties Gen-X perceptiveness, whose external smirking disaffection is belied by its overwhelming subcultural interest and sense of enjoyable. “I would not alter it since part of the sloppiness makes it special and what it is,”

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“I believe if anything has genuineness and heart, this is it.” She might have understood even at the time that it was all too pure to last. “Comedy Central states our program’s not amusing enough,” she states to Cassavetes at the end of the 2nd episode. “I believe it’s amusing that they provided us a program,” Cassavetes responds, and Coppola needs to offer it to her: “That is … that is amusing.”Colin Marshall Related material: Based in Seoul, broadcas and composesBooks on Cities ts on cities, language, and culture. His tasks consist of the Substack newsletter , the book The City in Cinema The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles @colinmarshall and the video series Facebook Follow him on Twitter at

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