Mise En Scene in Sofia Coppola’s the Virgin Suicides Essay

Director Sofia Carmina Copolla has been known for her ultra-feminine. visually fashionable. rather pretentious intervention of her movies. . Her love for humanistic disciplines and manner contributes to the really animal and appealing signifier of her work. One of her earlier movies. The Virgin Suicides. is a testament to this ; with its soft colour pallets. moony soundtrack. and the liminal and transitional subject of the narrative that captures the force per unit areas of traveling through adolescent rites of transition: first dance. first buss. losing 1s virginity.

The cryptic Lisbon girls’ self-destructions is told to us by an anon. male child that represents the group of male childs that have loved. revered and wondered at the Lisbon misss and were the last to see them alive. In the scene wherein they get a clasp of Cecilia’s journal. the manager establishes merely how much of a enigma these misss are to the male childs.

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We are ne’er given a clear image as to the girls’ white-picket-fence suburban lives and the things that might hold lead to Cecilia’s self-destruction ; lone rumours and chitchat offered by neighbours. narrated by the male childs ; that’s why the diary serves as both a vehicle for the promotion of the secret plan and an of import medium to pass on to us the Lisbon girls’ ideas and feelings in a distant yet really personal manner. The male childs wanted to cognize what could hold triggered the decease of one them. and in cognizing more about them. they come to fall in love with the elusive Lisbon misss.

Even the diary prop. inexperienced person in the manner that it was made–with the spines of rainbows. drawings of flowers. written in beautiful cursive–contained improbably sad anecdotes about Cecilia and the misss. It was about a prefiguration of the things to come ; how the inexperienced person. beatific misss could perpetrate suicide for no readily evident ground. The diary scene starts with the male childs tossing through the pages together. It is of import that we go together with the male childs through their journey in treating their information and feelings towards the misss.

In this scene we are given our ain infinite in the circle. as one of the research workers of Cecilia’s self-destruction. in the manner the shootings were framed. Medium to shut up shootings of the diary prop and the male childs makes us experience like fellow speculators. looking over the shoulders of others in an effort to calculate out what’s traveling on. It is of import to observe besides. the contrast in colour. from the circle of male childs hanging out in a room. to the dreamy. imagined diary entries.

The really masculine solid blues. striped leafy vegetables. dark reds of their costumes. the grey checked walls and bed sheets ; passages to the quietly lit. and cross-fading yellows. oranges. sky blues and hayfield leafy vegetables of the misss. The diary entry collages is how the male childs would wish to conceive of the Lisbon misss. as the voice over says. “we knew that the misss were really adult females in camouflage. and that they understood love. and even death” It starts with them reading through entry after entry. looking for anything that might explicate Cecilia’s self-destruction. They skim through a few. non really interested in anything. Boring. thinks the cats.

One of the male childs say “how many pages can you compose about deceasing trees? ” It is merely until they encounter entries that tell of the Lisbon sisters that their attending is shifted from looking for something to happening out about the misss. It is interspersed with half-a-second cartridge holders of Lux that looked about like it was taken from a home-made picture ; it is punctuated with merely the get downing beats of Air’s Ce Matin La. The discontinuity of the music and the cartridge holders of Lux connotes that this is non what they were looking for. as it merely of all time induces splinters of imagined flashbacks with the misss. but they were near.

The male childs settle on an entry that tells of Lux’s relationship with Kevin Heines the refuse adult male and the music continues and this clip. does non halt. as Cecilia voices over entry after entry with a collage of the playful misss. This is how the male childs see the misss through the diary ; planing through the pages. they see fragments and glances of their memories. ideas. and feelings ; and so it is merely suiting that this is how they imagine them every bit good.

In merely second-long cartridge holders of languid camera motions. extreme close ups of desirable oral cavities. desirable hair brushing desirable eyes. cross-fading to unicorns and pyrotechnics. tree swings. green hayfields and pure white clouds. “And so we started to larn about their lives” the voiceover says. They saw through the diary how improbably still and smothering a sheltered Lisbon girl’s life could be. “the manner it made your head active and moony and you ended up cognizing what colourss go together” The phantasmagoric picture collage. and the Lux imagined flashbacks. all contribute to the feeling of enigma and disaffection that the misss bring.

A journal can merely of all time uncover so much about a miss. allow entirely a group of misss. The male childs realize that they can ne’er cognize the misss in their entireness. To farther thrust this point place. the scene ends with the screen melting to black. with merely the voiceover stating “we knew that they knew everything about us. and we couldn’t penetrate them at all” this so adds to the ulterior defeat of the girls’ self-destructions. such that. by the terminal of the movie. the group of male childs that have fallen in love with the misss. say that they will pass the remainder of their lives seeking to set together the insolvable enigma of the Lisbon sisters.


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