The internet: we’re all on it, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably one of those people who spends most of their working and leisure hours popping in and out to read articles or check various feeds. Modern life practically demands we spend a goodly chunk of time online, and now Gia Coppola has come to wonder if this might not be exerting an adverse effect on our collective psychology.
That’s the heady way to break down her new feature Mainstream, a social-media satire steeped in the language and iconography of our digital age. The first trailer arrived today, giving a clearer view of Coppola the Younger’s commentary and critical ideology in her diagnosis-of-the-times generational statement.
Maya Hawke leads the cast as a going-nowhere Angeleno, waitressing at a magic-themed bar with a pal (Nat Wolff) while figuring out her next move. A major professional opportunity falls into her lap when she encounters an enigmatic oddball (Andrew Garfield) and slingshots him to viral stardom, setting off a rise-and-fall showbiz narrative custom-fitted for an era of emojis, hashtags, and micro-videos.
The trailer traces their wild ride, laced with controversies involving a thrown-together TV show (featuring contestants Casey Frey and Alexa Demie), and a panel discussion program (led by Johnny Knoxville, and featuring noted YouTuber ding-dong Jake Paul). The film blurs the lines between the online and the real, between the figures portraying themselves and the stylized flourishes like Hawke’s heart-icon-puke into a sink.
It’s a logical next step after Coppola’s debut feature Palo Alto, another assessment of ennui among those on the line between millennials and Gen Z. It looks like she’s going to arrive at a similar conclusion, too – we could all use a little time outside, unplugged from the crazy-making machines.
Mainstream comes to cinemas in the US on 7 May.
Published 6 Apr 2021
By Sarah Jilani
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