Soundtracks have always been of the utmost importance to Sofia Coppola's films (The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation), so it should come as no surprise that for her latest, Marie Antoinette, it is a (like it or not) driving force.
When I saw the first trailer for the film featuring New Order's "Ceremony," I have to admit, it felt a bit jarring and out of place. But taking the project as a whole, the marriage of 18th century France to New Wave music of the 1980s is making more sense to me (and no, not in this way) . The movie really is only a 'period piece' in costume and plot, while the dialogue, accents and music all reflect a more contemporary time; and since the decadence and fashion of the 1980s is an intersecting point with Antoinette's time, the music helps serve as a reminder to that.
Transitioning from Classical Baroque to Adam and the Ants' "Kings of the Wild Frontier" can seem a bit jarring, but music supervisor Brian Reitzell (Lost in Translation, Friday Night Lights, Thumbsucker) softens these with many other choices made for the film.
The song they chose for opener on the soundtrack (which doesn't come until nearly halfway through the film) is the perfect example of this. Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Hong Kong Garden (With Strings)" contains a strings intro which segues into the driving rhythm of the song. Elsewhere, Coppola and Reitzell tap My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields again (Lost In Translation), this time to remix two Bow Wow Wow tracks.
The soundtrack, to be released this coming Tuesday, encompasses two CDs, and, as with most, re-orders the tracks a bit from the movie. The first CD is more bright and airy, following Marie Antoinette's earlier days, while the second CD takes a darker tone (Aphex Twin, Air), in line with our heroine's latter days. I've taken the liberty of reassembling all the songs and putting them in (roughly) the order they appear in the film. For instance, the opening credits come to Gang Of Four's exhilarating "Natural's Not In It," which serves as a sort of declaration ... off with the period piece genre's head.