It's not every day that a movie like The Diary of a Teenage Girl comes along. Based on the graphic novel by Phoebe Gloeckner, The Diary of a Teenage Girl sets out to explore a 15-year-old's coming of age and sexual discovery without exploiting her. The film follows Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley), a teenage girl living in 1976 San Francisco, who has a sexual awakening when she begins having an affair with her mother's boyfriend, Monroe (Alexander Skarsgard). With one of the major aims of director Marielle Heller being authenticity, it's no surprise that the movie's use of music plays like a 1970s dream. But where can you get the Diary of a Teenage Girl soundtrack? After all, you're gonna want to listen to these songs again and again.
The soundtrack will be available for digital download on iTunes and Amazon and purchase on Friday, Aug. 7, the same day as the film's limited release. In keeping with the time period of the film, the soundtrack will also be released on vinyl, though it's unclear how many vinyl copies will be in circulation. It's also unclear how many 15-year-old girls going to see The Diary of a Teenage Girl know what a turntable is.
Yet regardless of the form, the soundtrack will certainly be a must-listen for fans of the movie. Music is an important part of setting a film in a specific time period, and Heller wanted to ensure that the film felt authentic to the '70s. "Having it set in this period allows us to enter in, as an audience, with a little less judgment. It's easier to stomach, and hopefully relate to this girl. It also helps us not to judge Monroe, Charlotte [Kristen Wigg], Minnie — they were all finding their humanities. The time period gives us a little buffer," Heller told Bustle in February.
Most of the 13 songs featured on The Diary of a Teenage Girl soundtrack are hits from the '70s, reflecting Minnie's Top 20 musical tastes, including Dwight Twilley Band's "Looking for The Magic" and Frank Miller's "A Fool In Love." But a couple are from the '60s and early '70s, such as Nico's "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams."
"We asked questions like what kind of music would Minnie listen to? What kind of music would her mom listen to? What's the difference in those? How would Minnie's musical taste evolve?" said Heller. "I think [Minnie's mom] is still holding over some stuff from the '60s. She's got a little bit of sentimentality but is also dabbling a tiny bit in disco. Whereas Minnie is influenced by her mom because she has been listening to a certain music her whole life, but is getting drawn in by this punk scene that probably wasn't even called punk yet."
Because of the film's use of older classics, fans can easily put together their own makeshift soundtrack playlists on YouTube or Spotify before the real thing hits the shelves, but there are a few songs that are exclusive to the official soundtrack. Nick Heller, the director's brother, contributed two songs to the film — "Dreamsong" and "Run To The Mountain" — in addition to composing the film's score. As you wait for the soundtrack's release, revisit a few of the best songs of the era, all featured on the upcoming disk:
And of course, some Joplin, a favorite of Minnie's:
A great soundtrack for a great movie.
Images: Sony Pictures Classics