The Virgin Suicides
With this debut feature, Sofia Coppola announced her singular vision, exploring the aesthetics of femininity while illuminating the interior lives of young women. An adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’s popular first novel, The Virgin Suicides conjures the ineffable melancholy of teenage longing and ennui in its story of the suicides of the five Lisbon sisters, stifled by the rules of their overprotective religious parents—as told through the collective memory of a group of men who were boys at the time and still yearn to understand what happened. Evoking its 1970s suburban setting through ethereal cinematography by Ed Lachman and an atmospheric score by Air, the film secured a place for its director in the landscape of American independent cinema and has become a coming-of-age touchstone.
“Sofia Coppola’s brilliant first feature, the poetic, tragic and enigmatic The Virgin Suicides, captures the ambiguity of such hazy recollections with tender, albeit, at times, horrifying wistfulness and pain.” – Kim Morgan, Beverly Cinema
“Coppola tells the story with a great deal of sympathy for the boys who remain marked for life by their encounters with the Lisbons, while nonetheless revealing their ongoing delusions with wit and insight.” – Marilyn Fernidad, Cine-File
“In the hazy, dreamy, poisonous world of The Virgin Suicides, language is limiting, even imprisoning, while greater, more profound truths lie beyond narration, in the visual, in the experiential, the imaginative.” – Megan Abbot, Criterion
“Coppola joins a deliciously evocative batch of period Top Forty tunes to flashes of backlit cinematography to summon the characters’ lost world, with its stifled experience and receding fantasies. What remains tantalizingly out of reach for the girls—as for the boys who have lost them—is ordinary life. Already, with her first film, Coppola was a master at rendering inner depths startlingly, straightforwardly visual.” – Richard Brody
“Leave it to a woman to boil all the excess, leaden moisture out of Eugenides’ book and leave just the bare-bones poetry. Sofia Coppola’s adaptation of “The Virgin Suicides” — it’s her directorial debut, and she also adapted the screenplay — captures the loveliest visuals and bits of language from Eugenides’ book and faithfully, but not slavishly, transfers them to the screen.” – Stephanie Zacharek, Time
- 3/7 | 6:30PM