Lux Lisbon, one of the five self-doomed sisters whose lissome dance toward extinction is the subject of Sofia Coppola's first movie and of Jeffrey Eugenides's first novel, on which it is basedis first glimpsed in the act of finishing a red Popsicle. As played -- incarnated might be a better word -- by Kirsten Dunst, Lux is at once a blond icon of girlish suburban innocence and an emblem of womanly eroticism. Dunst turns Lux's every glance and gesture into an ambiguous provocation.
Based on Jeffrey Eugenides' popular novel, Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides is an investigation into the unknowable, narrated from the combined memory of men with many years' distance from the events they're describing. Since the title confesses the ending, the atmosphere hangs with a feeling of dread that's at once eerily remote and curiously inscrutable, as if the entire story takes place in a hermetic bubble that can't be punctured by any psychological insight. Coppola stays true to the unique voice of the novel, which is narrated in a collective "we" by a group of boys infatuated with the five Lisbon sisters, a mysterious cabal of pretty adolescent girls living in an affluent Detroit suburb in the mid-'70s.
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Get ready to feel old. To be honest, when I re-read the novel earlier this month, I had no idea that it had a big anniversary coming up; I was just in-between books, trying to decide what to read next, and came across an old copy on my shelf. I picked it up and idly read the first three pages; I knew after that I would read it through to the end. They are very good first pages.
The Virgin Suicides is Sofia Coppola's directorial debut, and its effectiveness illustrates that she's better behind the camera than she is in front of it. Tragic, haunting, and sometimes darkly comedic, this movie leaves a strong impression in its telling of a story about the destruction of innocence. The film is based on the book by Jeffrey Eugenides, which happens to be Coppola's favorite novel.
In an interview with the Paris Review inJeffrey Eugenides admitted that the title of his career-launching debut, The Virgin Suicideswas meant to elicit a strong reaction. The story unfolds during a hot s summer, somewhere around Detroit. Cecilia, the youngest Lisbon sister, slashes her wrists but is rescued before she bleeds to death.
It is not important how the Lisbon sisters looked. What is important is how the teenage boys in the neighborhood thought they looked. There is a time in the adolescent season of every boy when a particular girl seems to have materialized in his dreams, with backlighting from heaven.
Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides is as high-minded and literary as its source material. The Criterion Collection. It's not likely that a film like Sofia Coppola's gorgeous, shimmering and suffocating orange glow debut The Virgin Suicides would be made today.
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Set in a Michigan suburb in the early s, this darkly humorous picture benefits from an original narrative structure that views the story from a contempo male perspective. Unlike most American teen pics, its appealing cast consists of actors who are the same age as the young characters they play. Theatrical prospects are good for a timely and accomplished movie that, with the right handling, could attract young as well as more mature viewers, and may generate controversy as well. Headed by a quirky high school math teacher James Woods and his rigid religious wife Kathleen Turnerthe Lisbons appear to be a healthy suburban American family.