hmv.com presents… The Best Soundtracks of All Time: The Virgin Suicides
As part our 'Decades' series, every day we'll be picking the best soundtrack, one for every year, starting with 1950 right through to the present day. Today we're up to 2000 and we're recommending the score from The Virgin Suicides.
The Virgin Suicides, the debut film from Sofia Coppola.
So what’s the film about?
Suburban Michigan, 1974. The neighbourhood boys are all infatuated with with the Lisbon girls – five teenage sisters of a strict, overprotective couple (James Woods and Kathleen Turner). Due to the fact they are so cut off from the community by the parents, the sisters become an enigma to all the local boys, and only make them more interested with them.
The film opens youngest sister, Cecilia (Hanna R Hall) attending suicide by slitting her wrists in the bath. Her parents throw a party with the intention of lifting her spirits, but she choose to use the occasion to jump out of her bedroom window and finally take her own life.
The tragedy only makes the couple even more protective of their daughters, but the headstrong Lux (Kirsten Dunst) begins seducing various guys in the neighbourhood, and, as the title implies, events lead to a tragic conclusion.
Is this a score or a soundtrack?
A score by French electro hipsters Air.
So what’s it like?
Air are known for their ethereal, mellow electropop, with tracks like ‘Sexy Boy’ from their 1998 debut album Moon Safari. The score is much the same, just without the vocals. It’s a beautiful chilled out record, with subtle but catchy melodies throughout.
What does it give the film?
The Virgin Sucides, like the rest of Sofia Coppola’s work, could best be described as beautiful and melancholic. Air’s score is exactly the same. The film is all about lost innocence and dark nostalgia, and the music suits this perfectly. The soft electronica is lovely, but has dark rumbles in the background that slowly get heavier and heavier as it progresses. The general use of electropop also gives the film the feeling of being a twisted mirror-world version of a John Hughes movie, which only adds to the corrupted nostalgia of the whole piece.
What’s the best moment?
‘Playground Love’, the one track on the album with vocals. It takes the recurring theme played throughout the film and crafts it into a lovely pop song that would stand up with anything off Moon Safari. It also has a gorgeous saxophone solo in the middle.
Has it stood the test of time?
It’s not as essential as Moon Safari, but it’s still a lovely laidback album. If we get any sort of Indian Summer this year, sit in the garden and give it a spin.