Gia Coppola was one of the breakout new directors of 2013 thanks to her sensitive coming-of-age drama “Palo Alto,” which earned critical acclaim after festival stops at Venice, Telluride, and TIFF. Fans of Coppola’s debut have been waiting for seven years for her to put out a follow-up feature, and now the wait is almost over as Coppola’s second film “Mainstream” is set for a Venice Film Festival world premiere in September. Deadline has debuted the first look image from the project (see above), which stars Andrew Garfield, Maya Hawke, Nat Wolff, and Jason Schwartzman.
“Stranger Things” breakout Hawke gets her first major leading film role in “Mainstream” as Frankie, a bartender at a comedy club who is grieving the death of her father and lost within a world full of content and narcissism. Frankie has “cosmic run ins” with a stranger named Link (Garfield) and is inspired to upload an anti-mainstream rant to the internet. The rant goes viral and turns Frankie, Link, and Frankie’s friend Jake (Wolff) into internet stars, but their newfound fame attracts the eye of corporate villains (Schwartzman). Frankie and Link also start a romance that gets complicated amid their viral fame.
Coppola describes “Mainstream” to Deadline as “a love story of being in love with someone who doesn’t love themselves set against the new emerging culture of today’s world.” The director was inspired by Elia Kazan’s “A Face in the Crowd,” starring Andy Griffith as an Arkansas drifter who becomes corrupted after turning into an overnight media sensation.
“I connected with it from a female point of view like losing your instincts and morals and getting overshadowed because you want to be loved and to love,” Coppola said about Kazan’s film and wanting to put her own riff on it. “Then you put that with someone and the dangers that can come along with that.”
“Mainstream” also hails from “La La Land” producer Fred Berger, who described the project as “a cautionary tale that will spark debate. It points a mirror at the audience in terms of how we engage with other people and how we engage with social media and react to incentives that are subliminally sent to us all day long.”
“It’s such a fun quick compelling ride,” Berger adds. “It’s only when the movie ends do you realize that you’ve had a full meal of provocative questions. And part of the fun is watching Andrew totally shift from any persona that you’ve identified with him before.”
“Mainstream” will bring Coppola back to the Venice Film Festival on its September 5 premiere date.