Wednesday, July 23, 2014

#1,437. Lick the Star (1998)

Directed By: Sofia Coppola

Starring: Christina Turley, Audrey Kelly, Julia Vanderham

Trivia: This short was shot in 16mm Black and White

Shot on 16mm in black and white, Sofia Coppola’s Lick the Star is a 14-minute short that shines a light on alienation, and does so in a very stylish manner.

After missing a few days with an injury, 7th grader Kate (Christina Turley) returns to school and is relieved to find that not much has changed during her absence. Chloe (Audrey Heaven) is still the “Queen” of the hallways, and the boys continue to be immature jerks. In fact, the only thing that’s different is the sudden appearance of a phrase: “Lick the Star”, which Chloe and a few other girls repeat over and over again. Inspired by a line from the V.C. Andrews novel Flowers in the Attic, “Lick the Star” is the code name for a secret plan the girls have been working on, where they’ll drop some rat poison into the food of several boys. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when Chloe suddenly finds herself an outcast at school, a reality she’s ill-equipped to handle.

Even though it’s narrated by Kate, Chloe is the central character of Lick the Star. As the movie opens, Chloe is a total bitch, going out of her way to insult classmates while rallying her friends around a common cause: teaching the boys in their class a lesson. This all changes, however, when Chloe herself becomes an outsider, at which point the film takes a sharp dramatic turn. Isolation is a theme Coppola would return to in the future (both The Virgin Suicides and Marie Antoinette deal, at least in part, with characters who find themselves on the outside looking in), Yet what makes the movie so unique is the manner in which Coppola tells the story. By way of slow-motion and a catchy soundtrack, Sofia Coppola trumpets her arrival as a filmmaker with a singular vision, setting the stage for what would follow in the years to come. 

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