If anything can lure Kevin Shields out of his lair, it's the siren call of Sofia Coppola. As she did for 2003's Lost in Translation, the director has enlisted the elusive My Bloody Valentine mastermind to contribute to the soundtrack of her forthcoming film, Marie Antoinette, due in theaters this fall.
Ever unpredictable, Shields' contribution involves two remixes...of Bow Wow Wow. (The 1980s new wave band Svengalied by Malcolm McLaren, not the "under 21 with a Black Card" guy. That's Bow Wow. Although we'd kill to hear what Kevin Shields could do with "I Think They Like Me". But I digress...)
Shields has sprinkled his fairy dust on Bow Wow Wow's version of Johnny Mercer's "Fools Rush In" as well as their signature hit, "I Want Candy" (also a cover). Bow Wow Wow's "Aphrodisiac" also appears in the film, untouched.
In Coppola's film, Kirsten Dunst plays the titular character and Jason Schwartzman plays Louis XVI. Marianne Faithfull, Steve Coogan, Molly Shannon, and Asia Argento also star. So basically you've got Spider-Man's girlfriend, Max Fischer, Mick Jagger's girlfriend, Alan Partridge, Mary Katherine Gallagher, and JT Leroy's best friend running around in wigs and listening to Bow Wow Wow.
WTF is going on here? Why is Bow Wow Wow on the soundtrack to a movie about 18th century France? And how did the band hook up with Kevin Shields? We called up Bow Wow Wow yesterday to find out. Yes, they're still around.
"They actually based Marie Antoinette, from a styling point of view, on [Bow Wow Wow singer] Annabella Lwin," explained the band's manager, Nicole Powers. "They drew parallels from the fact that they were both young girls who found fame and fortune at a ridiculously early age."
Indeed, Marie Antoinette was married to Louis XVI, the future King of France, when she was 14 years old; Lwin was the same age when McLaren discovered her.
Powers described Marie Antoinette as "totally a punk rock period drama." "All the graphic design is based around that Jamie Reid style that was on the Sex Pistols cover. One of the other characters-- one of Marie Antoinette's lovers in the movie-- is actually based on Adam Ant." Also according to Powers, Coppola's production company is named I Want Candy.
Shields' involvement was shepherded by Brian Reitzell, who, in addition to being the drummer for Air, supervised both the Lost in Translation and Marie Antoinette soundtracks. Powers described the "I Want Candy" remix as "absolutely phenomenal and incredible" and "a bit more rock'n'roll" than the original, while Bow Wow Wow bassist Leigh Gorman said, "Kevin Shields has done a really cool job, especially from the bass player's point of view because, he kind of loops the bass, and it goes really well." Neither Powers nor Gorman had heard the "Fools Rush In" remix yet.
Gorman described the scene in which "I Want Candy" is used as occurring "where she's realized that she's been put into this weird arranged married, and she's really young and she's in this strange country because she's gone from Austria to Paris, and she realizes that, 'Wow, I'm probably the richest person in the world right now...well, the richest woman, at the age of 14, so I might as well just have fun!', and you just see her having a complete blast. She's just doing all these wonderful things-- watching sunsets and eating grapefruit."
An unofficial soundtrack listing has been floating around the internet, claiming that in addition to the Bow Wow Wow songs, the movie also features music from Gang of Four, Windsor for the Derby, Radio Dept., Aphex Twin, Air, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Cure, New Order (whose "Age of Consent" appears in the trailer), Squarepusher, Adam and the Ants, the Strokes, and Phoenix. Secretly Canadian confirmed that Windsor for the Derby's "The Melody of a Fallen Tree" is in fact in the film, and Astralwerks confirmed Air and Phoenix's particiapation. But that's all we know for sure right now.