Like many contemporary directors who started with music videos and then moved to full-lengh films, Sofia Coppola, the daughter of the great Francis Ford Coppola, also began her career with bands. In 1995, a friend and a member of Sonic Youth Thurston Moore gave her a book about five sisters living in the Detroit suburbs under the severe control of puritan parents. The novel inspired 24-year-old Sofia to make her first film. When the author’s permission was received, she approached Brian Reitzell, the co-author of Sofia’s first short picture.
Brian was six years older than the director and, in theory he could help with the soundtrack selection as well as with an understanding of what burned young hearts in the 70s. Reitzell was a guest drummer in Air and he drummed for them during their tour to support the new album Moon Safari, released in 1998. Sofia was listening to Air while working on the film’s scenario. So, the decision to invite the French duo to create the soundtrack for the future film made sense. Besides, as the reviewers noticed, Air’s dreamy music, wrapped in vivid diluted colours of old photographs, not only perfectly fitted the scrupulously recreated visuals, but also created the impression of a forgotten album recorded in the 70s that had just been rediscovered.
The Virgin Suicides paid off the invested six million and earned almost eleven. At the same time a promo-video for the band was made: it seemed to intersect with the film, compressed into three minutes, but maybe not. Vocals and sax were done by one of the authors of the song Thomas Mars, who later became Sofia’s second husband (the first one was Spike Jonze — hello, Beastie Boys, who Sofia did an interview with before Sabotage). By the way, Sofia also appeared in the video — she’s the woman they bring the drafts of the sleeve for the soundtrack to approve.