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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 314
Sun, Nov 25, 2012

“Playground Love”
Air

2000

“♫ Yet
my hands are
shaking/ I feel
my body reeling/
times no matter/
I’m on fire/ on
the playground,
love
♫”

Can you remember the first time you read Jeffery Eugenides The Virgin Suicides? How about the first time you watched the movie version, excellently adapted by Francis Ford Coppola’s daughter Sofia? Did you know it was the intimate music that Sofia Coppola brilliantly selected for The Virgin Suicides that eloquently matched the emotional ecstasy of Eugenides playground loves his brilliantly written book? Sofia Coppola once said in 2003, “I enjoy movies when they’re sincere, from personal experience. I like taking your time meandering with the music. There’s so much that isn’t said in a look. I like observing things. I’m not interested in a lot of dialogue.” Sofia’s right, if you remember watching The Virgin Suicides there’s not a lot of memorable soliloquies because in most of the best scenes are reflected in the songs that spoke for the characters on the silver screen.

Usually when I do a movie, I pick a kind of music or a band for the music, like people have composers. So on Somewhere, I asked Phoenix, and with The Virgin Suicides, it was Air. A lot of it relates to the music that I’m listening to when I’m writing and kind of the mood of it.” Coppola responded when asked how she chooses music for her film’s soundtrack. When asked why she specifically chose Air to score The Virgin Suicides, Sofia explained, “The music [by the group Air] really helped a lot. I wanted to work with them because they have that kind of dreamlike sound. I listened to their music a lot when I was writing the script.”

“Playground Love” by Air, featuring Sofia Coppola’s future husband, Phoenix lead singer Thomas Mars in a nom de plume as Gordon Tracks. Air composers Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel wrote “Playground Love” with Mars who perfectly captures the innocent intensity of teenage first love. It’s that same dramatic realism that Coppola brought to life on film that Air musically brought to life on the soundtrack reflected the same childlike dramatic realism that writer Jeffery Eugenides created in his timeless book.

That’s what I liked about the book, that kind of etherealness. It’s (about) memory and not reality. Yes. Your memory of being young is very simple and I wanted it to look like that. I wanted the movie to be from a kid’s point of view, a kid’s world. You can get away with obsessiveness then. I feel like when you’re that age, everything is really melodramatic, everything is a huge deal.” Coppola said when asked why she chose to adapt Jeffery Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides as her first movie as a film director.

Sofia further discussed why she chose to resurrect The Virgin Suicides on celluloid with Interview Magazine, when she said, “I liked that the story seemed to capture what it was like to be that age, something that I haven’t seen many people get right. It just seemed really authentic to me. You know, the way you can be obsessed with these little details of something that someone owned. Also how strong your feelings are the first time you fall in love. That’s what I liked about the book, that kind of etherealness. It’s (about) memory and not reality. Yes. Your memory of being young is very simple and I wanted it to look like that. I wanted the movie to be from a kid’s point of view, a kid’s world. You can get away with obsessiveness then. I feel like when you’re that age, everything is really melodramatic, everything is a huge deal. There’s not too many things I’ve read or seen (about) being a teenager that I relate to. I think Jeff Eugenides really understood that.

A snapshot of teenage love comes back to life in the lyrical guise of Air and Gordon Tracks lovely soundtrack sensation “Playground Love.” First heard on the film The Virgin Suicides, “Playground Love” transcends the pages and silver screen conjuring up our own personally emotional rhythms of our first loves; Once upon a school day crush, brought back with the beautiful evocative sounds of Air’s “Playground Love.”

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