Sofia Coppola’s obsession with the mannerisms and minutiae of cloistered, private worlds hasn’t always yielded the most dramatically satisfying films. But her stunning 1999 feature debut The Virgin Suicides stands as a testament to both her directorial savvy — neither Josh Hartnett nor Heart’s “Magic Man” has ever thrilled more — and her abiding sympathy for people who struggle against the strictures of their lives. It’s no small feat that the film’s two parallel realities — the Lisbon girls, trapped by overbearing parents in their home/fortress, and the gob-smacked neighborhood boys feverishly fantasizing about them — are each rendered intimately and intensely. And everything from Kirsten Dunst’s star turn as Lux, the oldest of the doomed sisters, to the Air-inflected soundtrack and Giovanni Ribisi’s wistful, heavyhearted narration, is pitch-perfect.
The movie screens 7 p.m. tonight at The Frist Center as part of its "Strangeness of the Ordinary" film series, a sidebar of films that show the influence of Memphis color-photography master William Eggleston (whose work is currently on display). The film is free and open to the public.