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Marie Antoinette

Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here. Leading up to seeing this vision of quaint loveliness, I’d heard stories about writer-director Sofia Coppola (Lost In Translation) putting Converse All Stars on her period-costumed actors or having the characters utter very modern expressions. Perhaps in some previous incarnation of Marie Antoinette (perhaps the version that was booed by the French at the Cannes Film Festival) these touches were reality. But in the version opening today, the only modern touches were some rather tasty bits of 80s’ new wave/power pop music choices, some of which the characters seem to manage to ballroom dance to in one party scene. Like no other costume drama I’ve ever scene, this film’s main intention sees to be reminding us that Marie was a teenager, and she suffered from all the same afflictions most teenagers do: short attention spans, the need for excitement, and the desire to be loved by everyone.

Never more staggeringly lovely, Kirsten Dunst plays the Austrian princess who is shuffled off to become the queen of France as part of a political agreement between the two nations. She marries the rather unremarkable Louis XVI (Coppola’s cousin Jason Schwartzman, who rarely changes expressions but still manages to crack you up in every scene) and prepares to spend the rest of her life living in Versailles trying desperately to understand what is expected of her and wishing to please her husband, who seems to want no part of her in the bedroom. Massive pressure is put on her by Louis’ father, Louis XV (the irrepressible Rip Torn, who is always seen in the company of his mistress, played by Asia Argento).

Coppola delicately loosens the grip on the formalities as Marie gets more comfortable in her surroundings and the first seeds of rebellion are planted. She gambles, she takes a lover, she spends like a fiend. All the while, people of the court watch her, judge her, gossip about her every movement. Coppola does a remarkable job showing us just how much the royals were under constant scrutiny. I don’t think her goal is to paint a pure and faithful biography. Instead she shows us that, in her own way, Marie Antoinette was a punk-rock girl. Her youthful exuberance was charming to some and infuriating to others (particularly the overly taxed French citizens, who eventually had her beheaded--an event the film does not quite get to). At the center of this blissful work is Dunst at her absolute most sensual and measured, setting a tone not all that different from Coppola’s The Virgin Suicides (also starred Dunst).

In some ways, the film feels like kids dressing up and putting on a play. But at its core, Marie Antoinette is a luscious offering that throws accuracy to the wind sometimes, but still manages to capture better than most how it is to have the world dropped at your feet when you are far to young to appreciate or cope with the burden of power.

American Hardcore

I'm going old school hardcore with you for a minute. Growing up in the Washington, D.C., area in early 1980s, I always just thought Bad Brains was a local band that some of my friends went to see on occasion (I saw them once as well). Little did I know that the Brains were arguably the most admired and trend-setting hardcore punk band in the United States, and this wonderfully thorough documentary gives Bad Brains and dozens of other hardcore bands their rightful place in music history.

Based on the book by Steven Blush, American Hardcore covers the years 1980-1986 (the exact years I was in middle school and high school, I should add), when the hardcore punk scene blew up in big cities all over the country and teenagers were able to voice their growing frustrations about the Reagan administration, the recession, and a wave of faux conservatism that was threatening to take over the land. Taking an almost anthropological look at the scene, director Paul Rachman paints a well-documented canvas of the messages of the musicians, the DIY approach to record distribution, and the way the scene exploded without help from record companies, radio, or promotion of any kind. If bands like Black Flag, Minor Threat, SS Decontrol, Negative FX, D.O.A., Millions of Dead Cops, Circle Jerks, Minutemen, or Adolescents mean anything to you, this film is essential viewing. If you ever for a minute believed that Green Day, the Beastie Boys, Nirvana, or the Red Hot Chili Peppers came out of nowhere, think again.

The filmmakers are remarkably honest about the scene, especially when slam-dancing, crowd-surfing and stage diving became the norm at shows. Some of the kids were releasing aggression; others just like beating the shit out of people. There’s also a stunning amount of great (and not so great) footage of these bands in their prime that is worth the price of admission. As a documentary about a time and micro-movement in music history, American Hardcore is such a learning experience. But the lasting effects these bands had and continue to have (Black Flag’s Henry Rollins is still kicking) has never been better explained and illustrated than it is in this film. In the end, the music and players burned out as quickly as they caught fire. But like any good fire, the toxic fumes got stuck in America’s lungs and gave a distorted voice to a new generation of bands.


Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Kirsten Dunst is hot

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    I don't care what anyone says

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:18 p.m. CST


    by binarybender


  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:20 p.m. CST


    by BobParr

    I could care less about this sissy movie.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:20 p.m. CST


    by BobParr

    I could care less about this sissy movie.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:20 p.m. CST

    i had an idea for a hardcore documentary called...

    by triplefive

    Hardcore: From Black Flag to Black Eyeliner. and it was gonna kick ass, i swear. i was gonna ask ole Hank to narrate the whole the thing. I cant wait to see this movie.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:26 p.m. CST

    Hardcore did not burn out in 1986...

    by danger88

    Steven Blush, who wrote the book American Hardcore that this movie is based on thinks that Harcore died in 1986, mainly because that is the year he left the scene. Trust me, the scene still kept going,many important bands came throught the second,third, and forth waves of HC. Contrary to Blush's opinion the scene is still going to this day. Despite my opinion on the movies main thesis I am still stoked to see it. Also curious to see Marie Antoinete.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:54 p.m. CST

    "To" versus "Too"

    by R James

    I see this mistake often in talkbacks and reviews on the site. (Maybe it's just a slip-up. I'm always using "their" for "there" even though I know the difference.) "Too" is an adverb meaning "in excess" or "also." "To" is a multi-purpose preposition. In Capone's review he uses the phrase "to young" where "too young" should be used. If we're going to argue over the minutiae of "Lost" and "Star Wars," thought making a grammatical point wouldn't qualify as too geeky.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Is There A Wet T Shirt Scene?

    by The Ender

    Best thing Dunst has ever done..

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Capone, a DC kid... didn't know

    by modlight

    me too. DC HC UNITE!!! The most fascinating thing about DC music is that they keep GoGo a well guarded secret. And Marie Antoinette a punk rocker? I don't think so. Tough to be punk when you are by definition the authoritarian establishment, I'll still see the movie.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:06 p.m. CST

    Interesting, maayyybe

    by godzillasushi

    "I don’t think her goal is to paint a pure and faithful biography." I honestly hope not because from how it sounds....its not exactly a very good job if she did.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:09 p.m. CST

    Interesting, maayyybe

    by godzillasushi

    "I don’t think her goal is to paint a pure and faithful biography." I honestly hope not because from how it sounds....its not exactly a very good job if she did.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:15 p.m. CST


    by godzillasushi

    double posts are awesomely annoying!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Why not show the beheading?

    by JohnGalt06

    Like making a movie about Jesus and ending before he gets crucified.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:30 p.m. CST

    "Instead she shows us that, in her own way..."

    by -guyinthebackrow

    "...Marie Antoinette was a punk-rock girl." Huh?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:32 p.m. CST

    Where the hell are the MISFITS?

    by alienindisguise

    None of these docs about punk include them when they were just as influential as the Ramones!?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Period movies never do well?

    by hktelemacher

    And what exactly is Coppola chic? Nice to see Bad Brains getting some recognition. Growing up, all of my friends loved Minor Threat and MacKaye's other endeavors, but nobody ever knew about the rastafarian jazz band that went electric and helped invent punk rock as we know it.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 6:15 p.m. CST

    DC hardcore

    by Huffy_Henry

    is what burned out in '86, while the scene in other places (Jersey, esp.) was fine. The nineties in DC were filled with dumb straightedge kids from Bethesda dressed like bike messengers rocking out to suckfests like Ashes and bushdiving in their spare time.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 6:16 p.m. CST

    The Misfits weren't from DC, they were from Jersey...

    by Rain_Dog

    So you can't really complain about their non-inclusion in a doco about DC hardcore. PS. The Misfits were formed in '77, which means they formed after the release of The Ramones first album, The Damned's New Rose, and The Saints' (I'm ) Stranded. Claims that they are in any way as influential as these bands and not, in fact, a fright-wigged joke of a horrorcore schlock-fest should be taken with a 40-pound bag of salt.<br><br>Someone also already pointed this out, but if Coppola really is trying to make out that Marie Antoinette was some kind of rebellious "punk rock" figure because she spent vast tracts of cash from the public purse on shoes then she needs to be locked in a room with a control-less stereo playing The Fall at full volume until she realises what a facile idea that is.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 6:20 p.m. CST

    PS. In the words of Bob Mould...

    by Rain_Dog

    Fuck straight-edge.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 6:41 p.m. CST

    Huffy-Henry, it really ended with the new 9:30

    by modlight

    I want to get mad at you because I was a straight edge kid (not from Bethesda, ugh, The Silver Spring Tastee Diner was the only one in my book) in the early 90's and it feels like a slam against me and all my old friends, but you're just so right and you have heard of Ashes which means you really know what you're talking about. In fact I probably know you. But we can't be blamed for when we were born and Hardcore is hardcore, and while it is a lot cooler to have seen Bad Brains in their hay day, being 14 at a 25 ta Life/Sheer Terror matinee at the Black Cat is still pretty hardcore.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 7:14 p.m. CST

    Dunst - From every shred of available evidence

    by Itchy

    she is an insipid, rude, snaggle-toothed, droopy titted troll of a woman. That being said, ever since "Bring it On", I've had a pretty significant urge to eat her ass out. And by the way, The Misfits rocked - so f off with the music lesson. I don't care if they were contrived, contrite or derivative. They mastered the 2:00 punk rock song. And I was just listening to The Damned today. Ahh ... to be 15 and discovering punk rock all over again.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 8:20 p.m. CST

    Dangerous Liaisons Part 2 - This Time Heads Will Role

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    That's what the trailer for Marie Antoinette reminds me of. Same fake costume drama feel. The only one who ever got the 18th Century powdered wig era look completely correct was Stanley Kubrick with "Barry Lyndon".

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 9:03 p.m. CST

    No, "Pretty in Pink 2: Back in those like, Old Days"


    "You know, like, at like a theater near you or something"

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Couldn't agree more, Itchy...

    by Rain_Dog

    About Kirsten Dunst, that is. Except the ass-eating part. Sorry for any offense, I guess I just never got into the Misfits - by the time I was getting into punk (I'm 24 now) Glenn Danzig was doing his "scary" comedy-metal thing, and I guess I always associated the Misfits with his later work and had a hard time taking them seriously, which was how I took my punk rock at the time. I've since heard some more of their stuff and its not bad, but I've always liked the artier/more political side of punk anyway 'cause I'm a bourgeois prick like that.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Dunst is appealing in a sickly kind of way.


    The Cramps > Misfits

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Not usually super hot on Dunst, but that

    by modlight

    shot of her with the fan on the soundtrack cover is hot. And any band that has lyrics such as "Exterminate the whole human race" "I raped your baby today" and "Chopping the heads of little girls and putting them on my walls" is a great band.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 12:01 a.m. CST

    Misfits were featured in the American Hardcore book

    by licorice and pumpernickle

    there's an entire chapter dedicated to the Misfits in the book that the documentary is based on. i'm assuming they weren't mentioned in the documentary due to licensing issues and/or squabbling between former bandmates.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 4:39 a.m. CST

    I swear...

    by jpdisco

    Plunkett and Mclean had a ballroom dancing scene to contemporary music. Has everyone just (sensibly) eradicated this film from their minds? It was shit.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 6:47 a.m. CST

    ""teenagers were able to voice their growing..."

    by solartaco3

    "teenagers were able to voice their growing frustrations about the Reagan administration, the recession, and a wave of faux conservatism that was threatening to take over the land." Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 7:33 a.m. CST

    All-Good Allen

    by theoneofblood

    Please stop with the endless fucking promotion of your little movie. It won't win you any friends here and you'll end up as reviled as the Matty Holmes guy.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Rain_Dog ....

    by Itchy

    I agree. Danzig got a little sad after his second Danzig solo album. But prior to that, with Sam Hain and The Misfits, his stuff was grinding and solid. The Misfits were right there as Punk was exploding, and were always one my favorites - so I get a little defensive about them. Ahh ... for the days of real bands with distinct sounds. The Misfits, Circle Jerks, Suicidal Tendancies, All, The Damned, Dramarama, The Clash, 7 Seconds, Minor Threat ... all great.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Sofia Coppola is not just a classic case of

    by CreasyBear

    Hollywood nepotism. Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides were very well-directed movies with a definite tone and style. Yeah, they were slow, but she had a clear vision for what they would be. That having been said, I won't be seeing Marie Antoinette because I can't deal with the whole lace and frills period movies, like that last Reese Witherspoon one, that have painful-looking trailers. Oh, and Itchy: thank you for the first two sentences of your first post. Wonderful.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 9:14 a.m. CST

    i have a clear vision of what Lost in Translation is:

    by Shigeru

    a piece of shite.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Hey modlight... who did you hang out with?

    by Huffy_Henry

    Chances are we at least were at some of the same shows.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Kirsten Dunst...

    by abominate

    ...was cute even as a preteen in Jumanji. I'd love to do very bad things to her now, but I'm not going to see this movie. I'll catch her in SM3. The Misfits were the best. They've never been the same without Danzig. Especially now, when Jerry Only is the sole original member left. They really ought to lose the name, because Misfits they ain't. "OoooH Angelfuck, I see you going down on a fireplug!"

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 2:30 p.m. CST

    made a rule not to watch movies that fuck up accents

    by wolvenom

    giving french people british accents is the ultimate testament to someone's intelligence as a director or play producer. It reeks of idiocy, and brain damage. Sophia Coppola is the most ignorant woman in hollywood directing. I just not get it why they do it? Is it cause the british accent is more appealing to the senses than the french accent, or is it the anti-french sentaments in america that keep directors from keeping this small detail accurate. They did it in the man and the iron mask too. It just boggles the mind. I'll never watch another movie that fucks up accents. Even trying poorly and badly is better than not trying at all (example: hunt for red october..)

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 2:40 p.m. CST

    "Never more staggeringly lovely, Kirsten Dunst"

    by Borgnine JR

    ...You lost me right there!

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 3:37 p.m. CST

    Wolvenon, why French?


    I agree that Brit accents are fucking lame as hell, but unless you are going to do it french w/ subtitles then the french accents suck. Jesus Christ what is wrong with doing it in an American accent? Fake french is stupid and fake brit insted is even stupider.if it supposed to be another language what fucking difference does it make?

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 3:42 p.m. CST

    giving french people british accents

    by hktelemacher

    is the ultimate testament to someone's intelligence as a director or play producer." Would you rather have people speaking English with French accents? It's a known historical fact that everyone from across the world at any given time spoke English with a British accent. But don't blame the people making the movies, blame the audience who refuses to read subtitles or watch movies where the historical accuracy in any way slows the pace or changes what people will tolerate on screen. I like all the people on this talkback complaining about period pieces. Used to be people wouldn't watch movies from before they were born, and now they won't watch movies that even take place before they were born. Revisionist history, especially with someone with an iota of talent (like Sofia Coppola), however tacky, is usually far more interesting in attempt than most of the other crap seeing release. Nobody seems to mind that THE PRESTIGE is a period piece, though.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Correct me if I'm wrong but....

    by wolvenom

    in Marie Antoinette aren't Kirsten Dunst and the rest of them faking British accents... I was unaware of them using American accents in the film which I might add makes it all the worse and sophia coppola that much more naive. I like the suggestion that subtitles and accents should be used in all historical retellings in movies. Passion of the Christ did a good job of that except for all the blood. But if subtitles is too much learn an example from Braveheart with the scottish accents is much better to hear william wallace's voice with the inflections he might have had rather than some kind of canadian accent yelling 'take off ya hockey hoser and douse your head in some poutine and beavertails king of england eh? EHHHHHHH?' would it have won best picture then???

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 9:18 p.m. CST

    Huffy-Henry... How about you?

    by modlight

    Most of my close friends went on to become Crispus Attucks. I was actually the first singer, but we'll never speak of that again. I was also an ancillary member of the BSSC in my skin days. With it being a dinky city with a smaller scene I'm sure we were at the same shows. Who did you hang with?

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Speaking of Huffy Henries

    by modlight

    In high school my little punk friends and I had the same Gym teacher as Henry Rollins and he would regail us with tales of one of our rock idols in his highschool days at a boys prep school.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 11:26 p.m. CST

    hey modlight

    by daylightsaver

    i thought paul was the first singer of crispus attucks?

  • Oct. 20, 2006, 7:24 a.m. CST

    I think Crispus Attucks was...

    by Huffy_Henry

    a couple years after my time. I was in the scene until about 94-95, when being part of DC hardcore became more work than fun. I've forgotten so many names, but some mutual acquaintances might be Martin, Tru, that guy... what was his name... Brother something? Brother John? Some of the guys who did zines, that whole crowd. Though I guess Martin went to jail sometime around then.

  • Oct. 20, 2006, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Daylight...& Huffy

    by modlight

    OK, one of you is my brother screwing around with me with an alias. Daylight...This is Paul, like 15 people would know I was the first singer. Are you my brother (john) effin with me or do you know me as well? Huffy... I'm horrible with names as well, but Martin sounds really familiar. I got out of the scene around that time too, a little after. It mainly happened when I met straight edge kids from cities that weren't DC and realized how super annoying they were. For my friends and I it wasn't a facist political movement it was just a scene. That changed in college. So I got out of the scene and went on tour with Phish. Kidding.

  • Oct. 20, 2006, 2:04 p.m. CST

    Now I'm all nostalgic.

    by Huffy_Henry

    Feel like digging out an Endpoint record. Wish I still had copies of all those old zines. I can't remember most of their names... I know out of DC there was one called Siege or something like that. Alone was another one. And there was one by some angry grrls. Ummmm... drawing a blank.

  • Oct. 20, 2006, 4:05 p.m. CST

    I know what you mean.

    by modlight

    I just recently found a bunch of random mp3s online of 4 Walls Falling because all my old tapes copied from friends have vanished over the years. Such a great group that really never gained much noteriety. And zines... the working man's blog. crazy to think that in 10 years we've gone from photocopying interviews transcribed from old little tape recorders to just posting the video of the interview the day after the show. In my opinion it makes it too easy for people. Back in the day we had to work to find good bands, now we just go to Pitchfork to find mediocre ones. Hell half the albums I bought were just because someone I liked thanked them in their liner notes... MP3'S DONT HAVE LINER NOTES!!!!! 'sniff.. now you've got me going.

  • Oct. 20, 2006, 4:05 p.m. CST

    massacre of the innocents

    by daylightsaver

    wasn't that an endpoint record? Martin was a maniac. Damnation AD was fun though. Paul it's Chad.

  • Oct. 21, 2006, 1:24 a.m. CST

    HAHaaa, whats up Chad!?

    by modlight

    you still in LA? I'll find you over on myspace....