Ideas For A Birthday Party For 13 Year Old Boy Film Noir Influence in The Virgin Suicides

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Film Noir Influence in The Virgin Suicides

Teenage suicide was not unheard of before the 1999s, but the increasing number of cases during this period has led people to acknowledge the problem. Schools have even started publishing materials to educate students and parents about these phenomena. The Virgin Suicides directly confronts this delicate subject. Sofia Coppola blends elements of her own style with those of classic film noir to show how these young individuals become so alienated in a world they barely know or understand. Through the eyes of five sheltered teenage girls, Coppola opens up the dark universe of isolation.

From the beginning of the film, it is acknowledged that the five Lisbon girls died before reaching adulthood. A small group of boys, now men, from a Lisbon neighborhood never forgot about the mysterious sisters they never fully understood. One of the men narrates the film and informs the viewer that he and his friends still gather at every high school reunion and birthday party to discuss the fate of the Lisbon girls.

The film then flashes back to their childhood around 1975 and presents the girls as they exit the family station wagon. Cecilia is the youngest at 13, preceded by Lux, Bonnie, Mary and Therese, all of whom were a year older than the other. All the girls look so young, innocent and beautiful. However, it is soon revealed that Cecilia has just been released from the hospital after attempting suicide.

Cecilia begins seeing a therapist who recommends that strict Lisbon allow her daughters to throw parties to cheer the girls up and allow them to interact with boys and girls their own age. Cecilia is disturbed by a group of her peers who make fun of a child with Down syndrome. She feels that she will never really belong in society either, so she runs upstairs and jumps from the window. Her second suicide attempt is successful as she lands on a spiked wrought iron fence. The rest of the film deals with Lisbon’s struggle to cope with this new reality. In the end, the remaining sisters decide that Cecilia was right about the world being a bleak and lonely place where existence itself is futile, so they decide to join her by taking their own lives.

Although The Virgin Suicides is by no means a classic film noir, it is undeniable that Coppola was influenced by the ideas he brings us. The mood of some scenes, for example, has parallels to that of a film noir. After all, Coppola intends to bring the audience into the bizarre and difficult world in which these doomed girls live. Both the suicide scenes and the scene when Trip leaves Lux in the middle of the football field after having sex with her evoke a feeling of discomfort and incomprehensibility that is certainly characteristic of film noir. The Virgin Suicides it is also influenced by noir themes and style. The film is primarily about these teenage girls who feel separated from the crowd, trapped in the semi-reality that was their home. Everything about the Lisbon house is gray and gray. There is never direct sunlight or high lighting in a home in Lisbon. It’s as if the girls are covered in cobwebs like little porcelain dolls kept in some basement. Coppola uses light throughout the film to symbolize life and change, such as time-lapse cuts outdoors with the sun shining in the background. This also shows that things are changing outside, but the girls of Lisbon are forced to stagnate in their rooms.

The Virgin Suicides it also boasts a particularly sharp score for the time period it was meant to represent. Track titles include “Cemetery Party”, “Dirty Trip” and “Bathroom Girl”. These are songs that Ms. Lisbon definitely wouldn’t let her kids listen to. Coppola even emphasizes this by showing Lux burning all her rock CDs at the hands of her mother. This represents the authority the girls’ parents still have over their lives, but the score that still plays throughout the film represents their struggle to make a place for themselves. Maybe the girls would make it and were just suffocating. It is more likely, however, that the girls saw no hope in life for a future that they saw as lonely, awkward and unfulfilling.

The Virgin Suicides it also departs from noir, and more modern film conventions are noted. Lux Lisbon is not the classic femme fatale of film noir. She knows her sexiness and that she can use it to her advantage, but she still doesn’t try to deceive the men she sleeps with. Lux is simply trying to justify what happened with Trip. She had sex with him after their Homecoming dance because she thought he cared about her, and then he just left her sleeping on the football field. Lux, who was only fifteen, was really affected by this. She then reacts by trying to prove to herself that sex means nothing. Then it would be fine if she lost her virginity to Trip for no good reason.

The story of the ill-fated sisters from Lisbon had to be told in a modern context, while the world they live in and the experiences they have are sometimes noir. Therefore, a true infusion of several different styles and genres was required. Sofia Coppola does a wonderful job of mixing film noir conventions with her own thematic style of direction The Virgin Suicides. The film’s music and lighting are similar to noir, as is the film’s general theme and setting, where the days merge and even the sex is pointless. However, none of the sisters quite resemble the classic femme fatale. Also, boys can be like younger detectives, but they don’t have hidden or ulterior motives. Their respect and wonder for the Lisbon sisters is genuine, and that’s something that doesn’t exist in film noir.

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