“#SwimmingPool #cocktail #ThisPineappleLife.” These words are so true, bestie, and they’re spoken by Andrew Garfield’s character, Link, in one of the vlogs within a film that make up Gia Coppola’s new internet-age drama, Mainstream. In her follow-up to her feature debut, 2013’s Palo Alto, Coppola writes and directs a love triangle about a vlog squad grappling with fame, identity, and artifice. It couldn’t be timelier in its exploration of both the dark underbelly of this new brand of parasocially performative celebrity and the layers of business and production that go into crafting this illusion of immediacy. Maya Hawke plays Link’s director, Jason Schwartzman is once again playing a slimy manager, and Nat Wolff is the baffled audience surrogate, saying things like, “My little niece worships these guys who do and say nothing.”
Vulture spoke to Coppola in advance of the trailer’s release, and she told us about the impetus behind making Mainstream and releasing it during a year when our lives have been refracted through online content more than ever: “For me, making this movie was my catharsis, trying to process all of these things that I was feeling and witnessing and trying to emoji-vomit it out.” It’s not entirely an outsider’s perspective, either: YouTubers like Jake Paul, Patrick Starrr, and Juanpa Zurita all appear as themselves in the trailer.
Mainstream premieres on VOD and in real-life theaters on May 7.