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Musical Inspiration
When she was writing the script for MARIE ANTOINETTE, Coppola turned to music supervisor Brian Reitzell (with whom she had worked on her two previous films) to discuss music in the tone she was thinking of while writing. Reitzell mixed "Versailles CDs” that included such artists as Bow Wow Wow, New Order, Adam Ant, "and other post-punk romantic music,” says Reitzell. "It gave us a place to jump off from.”

In preparation for the film, Reitzell also immersed himself in opera. "We decided early on that our approach would be a collage of different kinds of music,” says Reitzell. "The soundtrack is a double disc, a post-punk-pre-new-romantic-rock- opera odyssey with some 18th century music and some very new contemporary music.”

The eclectic blend of sounds, Reitzell maintains, "makes it a lot easier to put yourself in the movie. The music resonates because it shows how these people really were. For most of the movie, Marie Antoinette is an adolescent and it would have been a lot harder to get across her teen angst with a "Masterpiece Theater” type of soundtrack.

There was nothing happenstance or frivolous about the musical selections Reitzell and Coppola settled on for the film, he adds. "The thing about the music in this film is that there were no rules and no other movies we used as a role model,” says Reitzell. "We didn't do anything for the sake of putting a song in. We always did what felt right to us.”

"It was all very organic,” he continues. "The story dictated the music, which follows the dramatic arc. We set it all up in the opening credits with the Gang of Four song "Natural's Not in It” — which prepares you musically and lyrically for what's going to happen. Later, there is an Aphex Twin piece, "Jynweythek Ylow,” which is played when Marie Antoinette first enters Versailles, which actually sounds like that place. What I love about it is that you can't tell if it's a harpsichord or string instrument that's playing.”

The score was broken down into three parts to complement the film's dramatic progression. "It starts with an innocent period,” says Reitzell. "The middle section is the more decadent period with the energy of more modern music. The end is the decline, and there are only one or two music cues.”

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