The Virgin Suicides 
Please join Cultivate Cinema Circle and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center as we showcase the debut features of some of today’s modern visionary filmmakers with a year-long series dubbed Women Direct. Our fifth selection is Sofia Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides  with an introduction by Nichols High School’s Classic Movie Night curator Andrea Mancuso.
- Screening Date: Thursday, July 19th, 2018 | 7:00pm
- Venue: Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center
- Specifications: 2000 / 97 minutes / English / Color
- Director(s): Sofia Coppola
- Print: Supplied by Swank
- Tickets: $8 general, $6 students & seniors, $5 members
341 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202
Courtesy of Turner Classic Movies:
On the surface the Lisbons appear to be a normal 1970s family living in a middle-class Michigan suburb. Mr. Lisbon is a quirky math teacher, his wife is a strictly religious mother of five attractive teenage daughters who catch the eyes of the neighborhood boys. However, when 13-year-old Cecilia commits suicide, the family spirals downward into a creepy state of isolation and the remaining girls are quarantined from social interaction (particularly from the opposite sex) by their zealously protective mother. But the strategy backfires, their seclusion makes the girls even more intriguing to the obsessed boys who will go to absurd lengths for a taste of the forbidden fruit.
- Cannes Film Festival – 1999 – Directors’ Fortnight
- Sundance Film Festival – 2000
“Perhaps it makes sense that a woman whose earliest memory was on the set of Apocalypse Now would grow up to direct a dark fable about five adolescent girls who unapologetically and unceremoniously kill themselves…”
Courtesy of The Beguiled‘s press notes:
Sofia Coppola grew up in Northern California. After doing costume design on two feature films, she studied Fine Art at California Institute of the Arts.
She then wrote and directed the short film Lick the Star (which world-premiered at the Venice International Film Festival), followed by the feature The Virgin Suicides. Ms. Coppola wrote the screenplay for the latter film, adapting it from Pulitzer Prize winner Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel of the same name. The movie starred Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, James Woods, and Kathleen Turner. A world premiere at the Cannes International Film Festival, The Virgin Suicides subsequently earned her the MTV Movie Award for Best New Filmmaker.
Ms. Coppola’s next film, Lost in Translation, was her first with Focus Features, and screened at the Toronto, Venice, and Telluride Film Festivals. The movie brought her the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as well as Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Picture (in her capacity as producer). Lost in Translation stars Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson won BAFTA Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively, among many other honors that the cast and crew received worldwide.
Her third feature as writer/director, Marie Antoinette, was based in part on Antonia Fraser’s biography Marie Antoinette: The Journey, and world-premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival. The movie, which Ms. Coppola also produced, starred Kirsten Dunst in the title role. The film’s costume designer, Milena Canonero, won an Academy Award for her work on the picture.
She then wrote and directed and produced Somewhere, her second movie with Focus Features. The movie starred Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, who received a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for her performance. In its world premiere at the 2010 Venice International Film Festival, Somewhere won the Festival’s top prize, the Golden Lion Award for Best Picture. Ms. Coppola was honored with a Special Filmmaking Achievement Award from the National Board of Review.
Her next feature as writer/director/producer was The Bling Ring, which she based on Nancy Jo Sales’ Vanity Fair article “The Suspect Wore Louboutins.” The movie world-premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival, and Ms. Coppola was honored at Women In Film’s Lucy Awards with its Dorothy Arzner Award for Directing.
In 2015, she co-wrote, executive-produced, and directed the hourlong holiday special A Very Murray Christmas, which received Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Television Movie and Outstanding Music Direction. The show’s star, Bill Murray, was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award; and Ms. Coppola was nominated for a Directors Guild of America Award for her work on the project.
- On the Rocks (2020)
- The Beguiled (2017)
- La Traviata (2017)
- A Very Murray Christmas (2015)
- The Bling Ring (2013)
- Somewhere (2010)
- Marie Antoinette (2006)
- Lost in Translation (2003)
- The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Here is a curated selection of links shared on our Facebook page for additional insight/information:
- 7/3/18 – “Who would’ve guessed, when The Virgin Suicides was released in 1999, that director Sofia Coppola would wind up as one of cinema’s most unique, insightful, and important voices? Her adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’s novel about five doomed sisters living in 1970s Michigan is one of the strongest debuts in film history.” Christopher Schobert, Buffalo Spree magazine – link
- 7/5/18 – “It remains Sofia Coppola’s finest film—the perfect melding of sound and vision, teen passion and inexplicable tragedy, and plenty of 70s sartorial flair.” Elizabeth Sankey, Noisey – link
- 7/17/18 – “I grew up with a lot of men. It was me and nine boys, once you count all my brothers and cousins. My dad, Francis Ford Coppola, was a macho film-maker and his friends were all of that ilk, so I think I really clung to femininity and a kind of girly aesthetic.” Sofia Coppola, The Guardian – link