The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, 1999)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3q2YzKp138&w=560&h=315]

A few weeks ago we launched our cinema section with Gia Coppola’s “Palo Alto” and we found it impossible not to remember the impeccable “The Virgin Suicides” (1999), with which Sofia – daughter of Francis Ford Coppola – landed on the screens. She then showed a marked cinematographic style that would develop over time but that already with her first film meant an unprecedented authorial statement.
The film is narrated by one of the boys who then inevitably succumbed to the charm of the perfect and desired Lisbon Sisters, a narrator who always uses we to talk about the collective and mystic memory of Cecilia (Hanna Hall), Mary (Andrea Joy Cook), Therese (Leslie Hayman), Bonnie (Chelse Swain) and Lux (Kristen Dunst). The tragic ending glimpsed in the title of the movie is revealed from the first sentece, and thereafter Sofia builds a story with a basic or minimal dramatic content driven by pure emotions and feelings that dance between melancholy, depression, romance and sexual attraction. The girls are becoming women, it’s that time of innocent appeal that turn the sisters, specially Lux, into the object of desire of all the teenagers in the neighborhood, who want to rescue them from their restrictive parents. Adolescent tensions and experiences complete the film while waiting for the announced ending, poetized by the memory of the boys that after all these years can’t get them out of their head.
Sofia builds the movie under a frame of melancholy and fantasy looking, obtaining a very particular tone through such a hypnotic use of the images and the music in the film. Dreamlike scenes portray the male vision of the sweet, young and desired Lisbon Sisters and highlight the obsession the young boys had with them, and an impeccable soundtrack scored by Air make of every sequence and excellent cinematographic work. The atmosphere of the film becomes this way as unforgettable as the Lisbon Sisters and their inexplicable suicide.
Since then the director has continued to surprise us with a unique and personal language in each of her movies. Her scripts are already famous for their emotional aura and their apparent unfinished endings. Sofia currently is on charge of the direction of upcoming “The Little Mermaid”, a project for which there aren’t still many news, but to which we look forward with enthusiasm.

 

By Nicolás Solís

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The Virgin Suicides  (Sofia Coppola, 1999)

 The Virgin Suicides 1

Hace unas semanas lanzábamos nuestro apartado de cine con “Palo Alto” de Gia Coppola y nos resultaba imposible no acordarnos de la impecable “The Virgin Suicides” (1999), con la que Sofia – hija de Francis Ford Coppola – aterrizaba en las pantallas. Demostró entonces un marcado estilo cinematográfico que desarrollaría con el tiempo pero que supuso ya con su primer film una declaración autoral sin precedentes.
La película está narrada por uno de los chicos que entonces sucumbían inevitablemente al encanto de las perfectas y deseadas hermanas Lisbon, un narrador que usa siempre nosotros para hablar del recuerdo colectivo y místico que dejaron tras de sí las jóvenes Cecilia (Hanna Hall), Mary (Andrea Joy Cook), Therese (Leslie Hayman), Bonnie (Chelse Swain) y Lux (Kristen Dunst). Desde la primera frase se desvela el trágico final que ya se vislumbra en el título de la película, y a partir de entonces Sofia construye una historia con un contenido dramático básico o mínimo impulsada por puras emociones y sensaciones que bailan entre la melancolía, la depresión, el romanticismo y la atracción sexual. Las niñas se están convirtiendo en mujeres, es ese momento del inocente atractivo que convierte a las hermanas, sobretodo a Lux, en el objeto de deseo de todos los adolescentes del vecindario, que desean rescatarlas de sus restrictivos padres. Las tensiones y vivencias adolescentes completan el film a la espera del anunciado final, poetizado en la memoria de los chicos que después de tantos años no consiguen olvidarlas.
 The Virgin Suicides 2
Sofia construye la película bajo un marco melancólico con aires fantasiosos, un tono que consigue sobretodo a través de un uso casi hipnótico de las imágenes y la música del film. Escenas oníricas retratando la visión masculina de las dulces, jóvenes y deseadas hermanas Lisbon y remarcando la obsesión que los jóvenes tenían con ellas, y una impecable banda sonora compuesta por Air  hacen de cada secuencia un excelente trabajo cinematográfico. La atmósfera de la película se hace así tan inolvidable como las hermanas Lisbon y su inexplicable suicidio.
Desde entonces la directora ha continuado sorprendiéndonos con un lenguaje único y personal en cada uno de sus films. Sus guiones ya son famosos por su aura emotiva y sus aparentes finales inconclusos. Actualmente Sofia está al frente de la dirección de la próxima “The Little Mermaid” , un proyecto del que no hay todavía muchas noticias pero que esperamos con entusiasmo.

 

Por Nicolás Solís

 

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