«Elvis my love forever»: Priscilla Presley in Venice excited by Sofia Coppola’s film


By John

Her whole life ahead, the images flow, we see her as a 14-year-old girl in Wiesbaden in the American base fascinated by Elvis Presley who in 1959 was already famous and was serving in the army there, then gradually their unique story as Elvis became the King with the fans outside the gate of Graceland tearing their hair and she was a prisoner in a golden cage waiting for him to touch her and again the wedding in 1967 and nine months after Lisa’s birth, then the crisis and the choice to leave him in ’72. «It’s difficult to watch a film about yourself, your life, your love. The end of the film when she leaves is the thing that moved me the most »: Priscilla Presley, 78 years old, can’t contain herself, her emotion is too strong.

In January this year he had to say goodbye to his daughter Lisa Marie, who died of an intestinal obstruction. You decided to accompany the film competing for the Golden Lion to Venice, “Priscilla” by Sofia Coppolawhich is based on his memoir Elvis and Mepublished in 1985. «You did a wonderful job, you did your homework well» she continued troubled.

«It was very difficult for my parents to understand my and Elvis’ story, there was a big age difference, I was in my first year of high school, and the interest he felt in me was not understandable. But I was there listening to him, he told me everything, his fears, his hopes, the loss of his mother that he never got over, I gave him comfort even though I was only 14 years old. It was a unique attraction, I never had sex with him as perhaps people might think, he was kind, he respected my age, it was a different relationship and when the military ended – the widow Presley continues to say – he called me from America continually telling me everything, his frustration as an actor which was his dream, I don’t know why he trusted me so much, perhaps because I was very reserved, I didn’t confide in my school friends, and this relationship was based on this complicity and confidentiality and so it went on. And when I left, 5 years after the wedding, it wasn’t because I didn’t love him. Elvis was the love of my life but I could no longer share his lifestyle. Ours was a forever bond and I made sure he saw our daughter Lisa and so it was”, he concludes through tears.

A year after Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis in Cannes with Austin Butler and Tom Hanks manager-colonel, Elvis again at the cinema (soon with Vision Distribution) but seen by Priscilla in Coppola’s film of the same name played by two very young actors chosen «for freshness, sensitivity », says the director, more than by similarity: the American Cailee Spaeny and the Australian Jacob Elordi, who received the green light from the Sag-Aftra on strike as an independent production. The Apartment Pictures (Fremantle group) with Coppola’s American Zoetrope are the producers of Priscilla which, in retracing the couple’s history, stages those years, those clothes (there are Chanel and Valentino designer looks) with a soundtrack that distances itself from rock ‘n roll by The Pelvis to oscillate between Frankie Avalon’s “Venus” and the poignant I will always love you by Dolly Parton, and then reconstructs Graceland and part of Las Vegas and Los Angeles, leaving out all the public aspect of Elvis to concentrate on the relationship between the two as seen by her.

«A coming of age, a story of growth – explains Coppola – to tell how a personality is formed, how you become who you are, how you build a strong identity. I also think about the role of women in that era, the family clichés, what society expected them to do. But it is not a feminist story – he continues – but the story of a little girl who becomes a woman, of a fascination and a love story which however is deconstructed, even with mental abuse.”