Friday, September 3, 2010
I Am Love
What: I Am Love (Io Sono L'Amore)
Where: 5th Ave. Cinemas, Kitsilano. http://www.festivalcinemas.ca/
The latest Tilda Swinton vehicle had me enraptured, though to be perfectly honest, I usually feel that way when I catch a movie alone in a real theater these days. It's because there are no distractions! For this movie in particular, only true cinephiles need apply. Like most European films, it has very little dialogue, a (seemingly) slow pace and... subtitles throughout. The lady sitting next to me had to find out the hard way: she fell asleep ten minutes into it. But I digress. The cinematography was both odd and beautiful, with a nostalgic nod to 1980s Italian TV and cinema (The Octopus TV miniseries comes to mind). The story centers around Emma Recchi, a Russian woman who married into a prominent Italian family, the owners of a textile factory now on the verge of being sold. Predictably, she is unhappy. As an emigre whose name was made up by her husband (she only remembers her Russian nickname), she has no identity, so it's no wonder she doesn't belong in their world. She begins an affair with her eldest son's best friend, a brooding young chef of no consequence to the snobbish Recchis.
Saying anything more might spoil this film for those of you who have not seen it yet. Suffice it to say that a great deal is swept under the rug in the family and, as you may expect from the steady build-up, tragedy strikes. The frames are consistently sensuous, with food as a big contender (fine-dining, locavore fare), Swinton's finely tailored dresses, as well as frequent close-ups of her chignon. I can only assume the latter was supposed to inspire lust, but I kept craving a croissant! Lust and gluttony go hand in hand, though, so maybe my cravings were not so far-fetched.
In conclusion, I give I Am Love two thumbs up. Check out the trailer here: http://www.iamlovemovie.com/