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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

18th century synth pop

Posted by: Jambo / 10:57 PM

If you get a chance, check out the trailer for Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. I am still completely enthralled by her last film, Lost in Translation, so I was destined to be excited by whatever she released next but this looks stunning. I've never really formed an opinion on Kirsten Dunst one way or another but she seems well cast here. She has really captured the look of a young woman absolutely luxuriating in opulence and I've never seen someone convey so much sensuality simply by raising her head off a pillow. But the final scene of the trailer shows her skittering down a long hallway, her bare graceful neck possibly more striking than her low cut gown, and we can't help but think of what awaits both it and the afore mentioned head.

But none of that is why I'm writing this post. What really grabs me about the trailer, which I bet I have watched 10 times already, is the music. All the 18th century action is set to the tune of New Order's Age of Consent, and somehow the '80s moody dance pop song fits perfectly. I've long been a big New Order fan (one of my top 5 live music memories is them on a double bill with Echo and the Bunnymen at Northrop in about 1986) and hearing 60 seconds of their music over a period costume drama ad made me do my biggest music double take since I heard Nick Drake in a VW commercial. I always enjoy it when some favorite band of mine, that never got an ounce of mainstream recognition in its own time, gets brought to an expanded audience that doesn't even know what they're missing. And the really funny thing for me is that this is the second time in a month or so that the band has popped up. When I saw the trailer I immediately remembered this from James Wolcott:

What it italicized for me is how much of what's considered underground/fringe/outre/rarified migrates--matriculates--into the mainstream until it's part of the cultural ecology. The Daily News carries a feature in its Sunday comics section called Biographic, an illustrated mini bio of some celebrity personality. This week's Biographic was devoted to Halle Berry ("Born on August 14, 1966, Halle Maria Berry was named after the landmark Halle's department store in her native Cleveland, Ohio"); no biggie. But last week the subject was New Order, which recounted the history and evolution of the Manchester band from Joy Division after the suicide of its lead singer Ian Curtis, which forms the basis for the film 24 Hour Party People, starring one of my favorites, Steve Coogan. Again, it never would have occurred that Joy Division/New Order would someday be a featurette in the funny papers and nobody would even blink.


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By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:47 PM  

Someone over at Pitchfork referred to the upcoming film as: "totally a punk rock period drama." "All the graphic design is based around that Jamie Reid style that was on the Sex Pistols cover. One of the other characters-- one of Marie Antoinette's lovers in the movie-- is actually based on Adam Ant."

Sounds like a good one to me. In addition to New Order, Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine is contributing songs. Coppola has some taste, that is for sure.

By Anonymous Monostereo, at 8:35 AM  

Yeah, the first thing I thought when the trailer showed the title at the end was "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's Marie Antionette!"

By Blogger Jambo, at 9:24 AM  

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