Friday, 15 May 2009

Like A Virgin

The Virgin Suicides is Sofia Coppola's first full length feature, and one of my favourite films of all time. It's an almost Grimm-esque fairytale about the five beautiful Lisbon sisters, in the prime of their lives but trapped by their... well, not evil, let's say over-protective, parents. Set in 1970's suburban America, the girls sport some rather lovely, floaty, romantic creations that wouldn't look out of place trotting down the Chloe runway today. Lux, the most rebellious of the sisters, favours high waisted shorts and flowery cheesecloth tops for sunbathing in the garden, and dresses skimpy enough to bring her strict Catholic mother out in sweats! Meanwhile Cecelia, the youngest, prefers to float around in a 1920's wedding dress with the hem ripped off to the knees. And Lux's love interest, the divine Tripp Fontaine, wears some impressively kitsch corduroy suits and paisley shirts, not forgetting his signature aviators to make the girls swoon. 

Along with the costumes, Sofia has thought of everything to really make this film's aesthetic so ethereal. Special lighting techniques ensured the girls hair and skin were positively glowing, giving them an angelic, surreal look. Realistically depicting a house full of teenage girls, the Lisbon's bedrooms are over-the-top feminine and charmingly cluttered, with everything from empty perfume bottles to Catholic memorabilia. The score of the film is spot on, fusing nostalgic seventies numbers such as Heart's 'Magic Man' with the eery, electronic sounds of the french band Air, who composed a whole album especially for the film. Overall, this film is an excellent introduction to Coppola's films yet to come. Enjoy... 

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