“I remember [my dad] saying, ‘Be really clear what the theme of your film is, and as long as you can know in a word what the theme is, you can make every decision based on that, because you’re gonna just be asked a million questions about what shirt you want them to wear, location, whatever.’ The word I had in my mind was ‘loss.’”
From Sofia Coppola’s interview in the new @criterioncollection edition of The Virgin Suicides, which is loaded with such insights and very special special features. I was flattered to be asked to contribute one about a TVS fanzine I made when I was 16, all about the way fantasies and movies shuffle in with (or replace) your own memories. This movie taught me the power of image-making and sharpened my attention to visual details. It showed me how they can stand in for the things you love but will never fully possess; how the symbolically resonant can create as much change in a person as a life event. It was so formative in my understanding of loss and connection, and how human beings process such feelings—or fail to process them, so that they’re left suspended in mid-air like the trees, clouds, and face in this movie’s opening frames. I don’t know why I never put Strange Magic online like I did everything else. I only ever made one copy, and gave it to Sofia a few years ago. But it meant an awful lot to me to talk about it all again now, and here.
The rest of the DVD has everything a fan or person-teaching-themselves-filmmaking-from-Criterion (ahem) could want, including this wonderful essay by Megan Abbott (pic 8). It’s a perfect bookend to anyone who’s had a long relationship with this book/movie (because they do feel like one). Thank you @criterioncollection, Abbey Lustgarten and Sofia for including me ✨💖💕