This Kiss: Filming an Intimate Moment in The Virgin Suicides

Inside Criterion / Sneak Peeks — May 11, 2018


In her first feature, The Virgin Suicides, Sofia Coppola emerged as a remarkably assured young talent with a bold approach to layering sound and image. Adapting Jeffrey Eugenides’s 1993 novel about five young girls living in 1970s suburbia, she used Ed Lachman’s beautifully textured cinematography and a dreamlike electronic score by the French band Air to evoke a wide range of female adolescent experience, including the thrill of young romance. Among the film’s most memorable moments is a make-out scene with one of the girls, Lux Lisbon (Kirsten Dunst), and high-school heartthrob Trip Fontaine (Josh Hartnett), who has just spent an evening with her family. At the end of the night, Trip is sitting inside his car when Lux unexpectedly barges in, having snuck out of the house in her pink nightgown. What follows is a burst of long-restrained desire, and Coppola made the inspired choice to score the scene with Heart’s “Crazy on You,” which she had played on-set to get her actors in the mood. In this excerpt from a new program on our release of The Virgin Suicides, Coppola, Dunst, and Hartnett recall what it was like to bring this intimate scene to life.