How ‘Priscilla’ Reexamines an Iconic Love Story

The romance between Priscilla and Elvis Presley was not all fireworks, or at least that is the dramatic story that 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,” says cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd of the film in which Cailee Spaeny and Jacob Elordi play the famous couple who met in Germany when Priscilla was 14. The use of color conveys the locations of the time, with Europe projected in muted grays, while her time in the United States explodes into a kaleidoscope of pastels. Le Sourd sought to convey Priscilla’s emotional state through subjective framing to connect the audience with her feelings. “Sofía knew what she wanted with ‘Priscilla’. She would focus on Cailee, and if you look a few times, you won’t see anything the other way around. [shot] about Jacob. She wasn’t interested at all. She wanted to stay with Priscilla,” she says. To heighten her point of view, Le Sourd would frame “closer to Cailee and more broadly to Jacob,” drawing the audience toward her rather than him. “Another decision was to frame Jacob from behind. It’s a minor decision but a strong decision about the film. “It’s more about her than him.”

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