The Gloaming

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Looking up at tree at night, Montreal

I’m a big fan of Sofia Coppola. Her films are so atmospheric.  Her first feature-length film, The Virgin Suicides, has such a hazy aura; you can almost feel the humidity. What adds to the film’s uneasy ambience is the soundtrack by Air. When I see stills from the film, I can already hear the opening lonely piano notes of “Playground Love” in my mind. Virgin Suicides was one of the first films that made me realize that certain lasting images would forever be linked to songs in my memory.

One of Sofia Coppola’s trademark shots is of sunlight filtering through tree branches. Whenever I’m out and about with my camera, I often find myself turning the lens upwards and taking my own imitation-Coppola photos. Today’s photo is one of many in my ongoing Tribute to Sofia Coppola series, of a pine tree at twilight.

(Side note: it’s unfortunate how the Twilight books and movies have streamrolled any casual use of the word ‘twilight.’ However, as a friend recently pointed out, it might help ‘the gloaming’ make a comeback.)

Today’s track came out in April – on my birthday, in fact! A special birthday present from Lykke Li. At the time, I was in the eleventh hour of completing my master’s degree. I would listen to this song on repeat during my all-nighters, powered on by the propulsive, dramatic chanting of the chorus. Something about the track feels like it belongs in a Sofia Coppola film. I think it might be the piano, which sounds deceivingly delicate, even though you just know the pianist was really pouring his heart into it.

I’ve included the music video for Air’s “Playground Love” because it shows scenes from The Virgin Suicides and opens with Sofia’s trademark. It also features a singing piece of gum.

“No Rest for the Wicked” by Lykke Li

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