Monday, December 20, 2010

do you remember the first time?

The Face May 2000, "Do You Remember The First Time" shot by Corinne Day, Text by Sofia Coppola 

I remember the first time I saw the Virgin Suicides. My mates and I, we had rented it from this poky little video store in a sleepy suburban shopping village where we had also gotten the candy we would munch and the hot chicken and chips that would be forgotten about. I can't even remember what i was that made us take it off the shelves - our other rentals that day included the abysmal horror film "fear dot com" and never been kissed.. so our mood was, as ever, inscrutable (as teenager's moods often are). What moved me about the film was how beautiful it was, even in sadness. How hypnotic it was. And how, bizarrely, even in all its artifice it seemed so very, very real. 

This weekend I took myself off and saw Sofia Coppola's Somewhere. For lack of friends who would see it with me - and because I quite enjoy going to the movies by myself - I sat there alone in the cinema and revelled in what was essentially (and I don't want to ruin it, so i'll keep details sparse) what I thought was her most mature film. In the Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette you get the sense that Coppola is in commune with her young leads, they understand each other, they feel each other's need for new shoes and rock records and cigarette smoke. I felt like Somewhere took us one step back. We're not part of the world, but we can watch for a couple of hours or so, and enjoy. I think maybe this comes from the fact it is set in Hollywood, a place so rarefied that no-one really knows what it takes to get in the inner sanctum. But nonetheless, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was once again very real. The dialogue was so steeped in real life - the exchanges between father and daughter were so true, I thought - and some of the moments, like when Johnny follows that beautiful woman in his car all the way to her house, or, in true bachelor style, he cooks a whole box of pasta for himself and it overflows his collander, it was so hard to separate fiction from real life. It frustrated the hell out of me in the way that all good movies frustrate the hell out of me - I wanted to know what happened, I wanted more. And the sountrack was fab.



i want what she's wearing said...

Oh No Hannah I was going to ask to see it with you! Can't believe you went alone :( Now, perhaps, I shall go alone too.
And yes, I remember the first time I saw The Virgin Suicides. I thought it was beautifully apocolyptic.
Also, I started reading Brideshead Revisited last night x

joy said...

I have been meaning to see this film, thank you for such a good review!

sar said...

love this post and the film, great film :]

Ringo, have a banana! said...

I'm excited to see Somewhere, I've heard so many mixed opinions that I'm very much looking forward to forming one for myself.

Also, sidenote, but if you loved the movie version of The Virgin Suicides, please please read the book!! (Maybe you have?) I read it well before the movie was made, and it remains one of my very, very favorite books :n )

hannah-rose said...

Rach - nooo we so should have gone! but it was actually nice to go alone, it's my favourite thing to do of late, it's fun to just sit there and enjoy.. ah brideshead! it's so great!!

joy - you are welcome, i hope you do go and see it, it's quite lovely.. quiet and simple and plain.

sar - indeed!

ringo - yes yes yes, i love the book so much.. what i love about the film is that she stayed so true to the book, from recollection she only made small, minor changes and left some things out - probably because that is the nature of the film beast. i hope you do go and see somewhere.. i don't think it's the best of her films, but it is a "quiet heartbreaker" to use variety's term. it's not showy, it's just nice.


Ginta said...

I can't wait to see the movie!

Wild Goose Chase said...

This is just gorge! The Virgin Suicides is one of my favourite films.

If you get a chance I'd love for you all to take a peek at my blog:

Follow me please if you like!

Much love in the snow xxx

Charlotte said...

I love this film, especially the way it is shot and the colours. I really want to see somewhere, but its not out here yet x

lavelle said...

I adore the Virgin Suicides - the film and the book. This post was wonderful, thank you Hannah! I cannot wait to see Somewhere now xx

Samantha said...

Virgin Suicides is one of my absolute favorites! "Frustrated the hell out of me" - I completely understand that. Whenever I watch a film by Sophia I feel myself wanting more and being disappointed with the tiny amount of time the film actually lasts. I can only hope she continues to make such beautiful movies and never loses her golden touch.


Zoƫ said...

Oh to have my hands on this gorgeous editorial! I saw Somewhere too and wasn't as impressed but you have put it into perspective.

hannah-rose said...

Ginta - it's so good, you must see it.

Wild Goose Chase - mine too, although out of Coppola's canon my favourite is Lost in Translation.

Charlotte - Coppola has a really nice grasp on colour, I feel, you're right.

Lavelle - you are most welcome!! I'll never get over the virgin suicides, it's one of those films that stays with you forever.

Samantha - frustrating but ultimately rewarding.. she has this way of teasing the viewer that I love in her films. I never check my watch or phone when I'm watching a Coppola film. Time flies, and I never want it to end.

Zoe - how great is it? the late (great) Corinne Day shot it and Sofia Coppola did the words. fantastic.