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  • Dir. Sofia Coppola
  • USA
  • 1999
  • 97 min.
  • R
  • DCP
  • Assistive Listening
  • Hearing Loop

Part of 1999 and Music City Mondays

Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel The Virgin Suicides is a remarkable work of empathy and cultural synthesis, using aspects of the tradition of Greek tragedy refracted through suburbia of the 1970s, with its central family, the Lisbons, as America in microcosm. For her first feature, director Sofia Coppola delves into texture and tone and brings THE VIRGIN SUICIDES to staggering life — a soundtrack of AM radio classics exchanged like heartfelt missives, kindness misconstrued, the curdling of care into something cruel, and finding the words for the new variants of love that youth encounters every single day. The glare of unspeakable sadness slipping across the horizon that burns the eyes, the Dionysian fervor of Styx as an anthem for something hopeful — analogue synthesizers looking to a digital future beyond even the film’s release date.

Coppola's visually arresting adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides' cocktail-talk novel is pure aesthetic candy; her saturated colors, pitch-perfect '70s sensibility, and snapshot editing produce an unsettling modern fairy tale.” —Emily Drabinski, Out Magazine

“There's no irony in Coppola's treatment; she nabs all of the book's humor without layering on too many smirks or ironic winks. She connects with the essential purity of Eugenides' story, stripping it down to its bare essentials and cutting straight to everything that's wonderful about it. It's a movie adaptation that's filled with love.” —Stephanie Zacharek, Salon

“In her first film, Coppola is already a master at rendering inner depths startlingly, immediately visual.” —Richard Brody, New Yorker