Summerscreen: The Virgin Suicides

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07/15/2008 11:00 AM |

As Edith mentioned yesterday and I will again because we’re apparently really adamant about this, Summerscreen, the L’s free outdoor film series, continues tonight, at the McCarren Park Pool as always. The gates open up at 6pm, so you can hang out with your friends in the beer line, on on the concrete, or munch on the food from San Loco and Smoke Joint (and Blue Marble Ice Cream), and listen to live music from a Brooklyn band starting at 7pm. The movie? Oh, the movie starts at dusk; the movie is The Virgin Suicides. To quote from the program notes:

Unquestionably the most beautiful artifact ever to emerge from the Detroit suburbs, Jeffrey Eugenides’s debut novel makes punchbowls and Pontiacs the stuff of gossamer sentences, backgrounded by cicada clicks and backlit by streetlamps. The narrator is "we", a collective memory poring over preserved fragments and calling back, "with our thinning hair and soft bellies," to the five ethereal Lisbon sisters, who died young and stayed pretty. Replicating Eugenides’s gauzy ambience in her debut feature, could Sofia Coppola have entrusted the soundtrack to any band but Air? The whole movie seems to float, like the cloud of marijuana smoke around the head of high school stud Trip Fontaine (Josh Harnett, correctly cast for once in his career as a dull-witted teenager with a nice body), or like the white-clad Lisbons gliding down the stairs to their dates for the dance, earthbound only for a moment before drifting up, up and away, "alone in suicide, which is deeper than death, and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together." Eugenides and Coppola even treat 70s MOR with wispy wistfulness, so we’ll leave the last word to Don Helney: this is the end of the innocence.

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