[Video Interview] Analyzing Gia Coppola’s wonderfully zany social media satire ‘MAINSTREAM’


Preston Barta // Features Editor

Filmmaker Gia Coppola (2013’s Palo Alto) aims to uncover the appeal and dangers of social media, and it shows with tremendous fascination through the unchained efforts of Oscar-nominated actor Andrew Garfield in IFC Films’ Mainstream

The former webslinger portrays a beyond-the-pale viral star named Link. With Bieber-like, bleached hair, Link’s ideas and views simultaneously function as a tractor beam and a warning sign that sends you running in the other direction. Whether he’s spitting different hashtags or streaking on the busy streets, you cannot take your eyes off him.

Starring opposite Garfield is Maya Hawke (Stranger Things). She plays Frankie, a comedy club bartender grieving the loss of her father and losing her footing in a fast-spinning world. When she comes across Link, who’s promoting a business while sporting a furry critter costume, she can’t help but film his behavior and rant on her phone. The event sets fire to the internet and turns them into royalty of the Ether. But there’s a tipping point, and Coppola delves into how the world of likes and comments shapes us as human beings.

Fresh Fiction had the opportunity to sit down with Ms. Coppola via Zoom Video to discuss her sophomore film, creative inspirations for designing the look and tone, and giving Garfield the space to run wild with his character. 

Watch the interview below, and catch Mainstream this weekend in select theaters or on digital and on-demand platforms (like altavod.com).

About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction (FreshFiction.tv) as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.