Film essential, instinctive and “rough”, filmed between friends, including James Franco (Natalia meets James Franco), author of the novel (Palo Alto Stories) from which it is based on, Palo Alto is an object to be handled with caution, delicate but at the same time wild, such as the adolescence itself.
The young Gia (Natalia meets Gia Coppola) has been grown by the Coppola clan (her father, Gian-Carlo died tragically at the age of 22 years) in the Hippie and comforting Napa Valley, away from the noisy world of Hollywood. But she lives her adolescence in Los Angeles, city that she loves, with her mother who gradually engages herself more and more in fashion.
A balance sometimes difficult to manage between the hustle and bustle of the city, full of colored lights and stimulating encounters and the calm of the countryside, in the company of her grandparents, the immense art “community” of the Coppola clan. The fate sets aside for Gia other surprises and after a degree in photography and a short period of questioning where she confronts herself with the adults world thanks to odd jobs, she begins a little for fun, a little by chance, to film small movie with friends. It so happens that these end up in the hands of those responsible for Opening Ceremony (openingceremony.us) who, attracted by her mysterious and naive universe, commission her first fashion film (played by Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartyman).
Gia has always wanted to tell stories, to stage her world, to give vent to her creativity and nothing like a film could give her the opportunity to do so, to combine in the same universe different realities: writing, costumes, music and of course the actors.
Palo Alto talks about the fears and the dreams that make adolescence terrible and wonderful at the same time. A difficult period marked by doubts and anxieties related to the future often uncertain, a mixture of pain and desire for freedom, a constant research of belonging to a world that escapes. Gia’s film succeeds in transposing on the screen the adolescence atmosphere awkward, “dangerous” and confused of Franco’s novel, thanks to a superb photography and an impressive cast of actors (most of them non-professionals. Miss Coppola wanted to recreate, thanks to her faithful collaborator Autumn Durald, an aesthetic weaving typical of the films of the ’70s: soft but with sudden flashes of color… a real pleasure for the eyes!
Miss Coppola has not forgotten, however, delight even our ears with an intriguing soundtrack signed Devontò Schwartyman and Robert Hynes (Blood Orange), who remains faithful to his musical taste, a blend of dance music, Strokes and punk scene of the ’70s. A film with a hype strong potential made by a director who has not certainly stop to talk about herself.