How ‘Priscilla’ reexamines an iconic love story

The romance between Priscilla and Elvis Presley was not all fireworks, or at least that’s the dramatic story Sofia Coppola paints in “Priscilla,” where the director tunes into the psyche of the young woman who married the iconic singer. “Sofia was looking for something intimate,” cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd says about the film that sees Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi play the famous couple who first meet in Germany when Priscilla was 14. The use of color conveys the period locations, with Europe being cast in muted grays whereas their time in America bursts in a kaleidoscope of pastels. Le Sourd sought to convey Priscilla’s emotional state through subjective framing to connect the audience to her feelings. “Sofia knew what she wanted with ‘Priscilla.’ She would concentrate on Cailee, and if you look, a few times, you won’t see a reverse [shot] on Jacob. She was not interested at all. She wanted to stay with Priscilla,” he says. Heightening the point of view, Le Sourd would frame “closer to Cailee and wider on Jacob,” pulling the audience in with her instead of him. “Another decision was to frame Jacob from the back. It’s a minor decision but a strong decision about the film. It’s more about her than him.”

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