From the start of her career as a filmmaker, it was abundantly clear that music was vitally important to Sofia Coppola, textually woven into the sinews of her work where so many other directors with her affinity for soundtracking were content to use the perfect pop song as mere window dressing. Few first-time directors have the funds and wherewithal to hire ambient pop wizards Air to score their debut feature, but Coppola has always made the most of her access. Refusing to rest on her laurels – she worked in close tandem with the French musicians to create a woozy soundscape that anchors “The Virgin Suicides” in the mode of a morbid reverie, the soft jazz bridges of “Playground Love” and ghoulish guitars of “Ghost Song” resulting in a consistent tonal groove that carries the Lisbon girls to the great beyond. Songs like “The Word ‘Hurricane’” and the haunted “Suicides Underground” actively incorporate the script into their sonic decay, setting the tone for how inextricable the music of Sofia Coppola’s films has been from her narratives.
Of course, “The Virgin Suicides,” and all of Coppola’s subsequent films, also illustrated her genius for finding the perfect pre-existing pop song to pair with a given moment, challenging the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Wong Kar-Wai as the modern masters of soundtracking. “The Bling Ring,” which expands to theaters across the country on Friday, is further proof that Coppola’s movies can still immediately and forever recontextualize a song – hearing the crunchy opening riffs of Sleigh Bells’ “Crown on the Ground” over the film’s trailer was enough to make me feel as though the indie rock stomper had finally found its true purpose.
With that in mind, here are the 10 Best Music Moments from Sofia Coppola Films.
Lost in Translation (2003)
“Let’s never come back here again, because it will never be as much fun.”