HTSI editor’s letter: return to highschool with Sofia Coppola and Thom Yorke

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HTSI editor Jo Ellison
HTSI editor Jo Ellison © Marili Andre

Welcome again after what I hope has been a quiet August, and an opportunity to reset earlier than the autumn surge. (Commiserations additionally when you spent your holidays within the UK, which endured an pointless quantity of rain.) This weekend’s version gives just a little curtain-raiser for the season to return. On this back-to-school challenge, we’re specializing in names and tasks that offers you a flavour of the cultural temper. 

Full disclosure: I’ve been obsessive about Sofia Coppola since seeing The Virgin Suicides, her debut movie, in 1999. In a cinematic panorama dominated by Tarantino, Soderbergh and different ultra-masculine administrators, Coppola’s world, in contrast, was gorgeously female, quietly subversive and really small. The business has since turn out to be extra female-focused – I write this as Barbie has turn out to be this yr’s highest-grossing movie. I take into account Coppola the important progenitor of this new panorama: plus I’m mad about her private sense of favor. We spoke about her eighth movie, Priscilla, in Paris, shortly earlier than the SAG-AFTRA strike. At a time when impartial filmmaking is so financially tough and compromised, it was a deal with to fulfill somebody I take into account an auteur.

Director Sofia Coppola in Paris
Director Sofia Coppola in Paris © Melodie McDaniel

Simply as Coppola evokes a sure model of curiosity, Thom Yorke evokes the sort of passion extra often the protect of teenage followers. As the principle vocalist and songwriter of Radiohead, he’s thought-about some of the vital voices in rock music, as nicely as having composed a wealth of impartial soundtracks, songs and scores. This challenge examines one other seam in his boundless expertise: in an exhibition along with his pal Stanley Donwood, The Crow Flies, Yorke will present his work for the primary time. The works, depicting imagined landscapes, have been painted as a duo, for the Radiohead spin-off group The Smile. They have been produced in Yorke’s backyard studio, the place the pair would take turns to wield the paintbrush. Donwood is painstaking and obsessive, the other of the extra “explosive” Yorke. 

Stanley Donwood (left) and Thom Yorke outside their Cromwell Place gallery space in London
Stanley Donwood (left) and Thom Yorke exterior their Cromwell Place gallery area in London © Julian Broad
Mandy El-Sayegh in her south London studio
Mandy El-Sayegh in her south London studio © Alex Lockett

Elsewhere on this throng of impartial voices, we meet the painter Mandy El-Sayegh and wonder entrepreneur April Gargiulo. El-Sayegh makes use of printed matter (together with the FT newspaper) to create hybrid items that viewers can learn as a forensic examine of her private life and politics, or just soak up in a extra abstracted means. This yr has seen her open three solo exhibitions – a glimpse, she says, into the “within her head”. She’s particularly happy with how her work represents a journey for her household, from “abject poverty” into the “bourgeoisie”.

Vintner’s Daughter founder April Gargiulo in California
Vintner’s Daughter founder April Gargiulo in California © Aaron Wojack

In the meantime, Gargiulo has used her expertise within the household enterprise of winemaking to create Vintner’s Daughter, a multi-award-winning magnificence model. The fantastic thing about Vintner’s Daughter isn’t in its huge providing, however how, with solely two merchandise in its 10-year standing, it has maintained a gradual 30-35 per cent annual progress. Gargiulo has taken the basics of viticulture and distilled them in a very completely different realm. As she launches her third product following a four-year interval of analysis and growth, she explains why, when it involves driving an genuine enterprise, she’s bought all of the time on the planet. 


FT Weekend Pageant

FT Weekend Pageant returns on Saturday September 2 at Kenwood Home Gardens, London. Ebook your tickets to take pleasure in a day of debates, tastings, Q&As and extra . . . Audio system embrace Henry Holland, Rosh Mahtani, Patrick Grant, Alice Lascelles, Skye McAlpine and lots of others, plus all of your favorite FT writers and editors. Register now at

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