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The Virgin Suicides (Sofia Coppola, USA, 1999)

  • The Star 47 Chester Road London, England, N19 5DF United Kingdom (map)
A disarmingly poetic - and specifically female - vision of adolescence that it belongs in a category of its own.
— Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

This year, as part of the annual Scalarama festival, we are contributing two screenings to the global Directed By Women initiative - this, Sofia Coppola’s mesmerising debut and Sally Potter’s Orlando. 

On the surface the Lisbons appear to be a healthy, successful 1970s family living in a middle-class Michigan suburb. Mr. Libson is a maths teacher, his wife is a rigid 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.

Adapted from Jeffrey Eugenides novel, the film’s terrific cast includes Kirsten Dunst, James Woods, Kathleen Turner , Josh Hartnett and Danny DeVito.