On the set of “The Virgin Suicides”
Sofia Coppola behind the scenes of The Virgin Suicides (1999)
“We knew the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love, and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.”
The virgin suicides (1999) dir. Sofia Coppola
Kirsten Dunst, A.J Cook, Hanna Hall, Chelse Swain and Leslie Hayman on the set of The Virgin Suicides, director: Sofia Coppola, 1999.
The Virgin Suicides | Sofia Coppola | 1999
If the novel and the movie’s structure are about boys telling, Coppola’s visual strategy is about girls showing. Increasingly, as the story unfolds, she lets us behind closed doors in ways that are beyond the boys’/narrator’s imagining. The private, unglamorous, unlovely moments. The pain (of Cecilia’s despair, of Lux’s heartbreak). In a series of visuals—those “little images” that have the “biggest importance, and never go away”—we see these are real, living, breathing, sweating, menstruating girls. We see them painting their toenails, lounging in the candy-colored sloth of their bedrooms and bathroom, being bored, playing with their tangled rubber bands and plastic bracelets, poring over fashion magazines and travel catalogs, rolling their eyes over boys. We see them messy, unhappy, yearning, petty, aroused. We see their desire, foremost the desire for Trip (Josh Hartnett) of Lux, who nearly devours him in a stolen make-out session in his car. And the girls’ realness, for Coppola, is glamorous, is mysterious and complicated—a theme she will extend through many of her films to come…