I Am Hungry

This is a review of the new Italian flick I Am Love, from writer / director / Italian-named Luca Guadagnino, and starring Conan O’Brien Tilda Swinton.

This isn't Narnia...

Recently I saw a flick that was pretty much unlike any other flick I’d ever seen before, which was both a good and bad thing.

It was the Italian drama I Am Love, and it was melodramatic (not inherently a bad word), sensual (not a word  I associate with Tilda Swinton), sexual (ditto) and just…  different.

The story in of itself isn’t so different–  a grandfather dies, a mother has an affair with her son’s friend, the son dies;  family life crumples.  I mean, it could be a season’s worth of plotlines for a nighttime soap.  And obviously I’ve seen (some) Italian flicks before, though I don’t think I can compare this to the flicks of, say, Guiseppe Tornatore or Il Postino.

So far I’m doing a spectacularly bad job of conveying why this sometimes captivating, sometimes incredibly banal film is so different, so let’s try:  Is it the sweeping vistas of Italy in the seasons?  Is it the arbitrary close-ups of Tilda Swinton, sometimes sans clothes?  Is it the fact you feel, eventually, as though you are perhaps part of this family, but you don’t quite know how to feel about them.

Well, it’s everything, and more than that it’s the mood the flick sustains.  There’s a scene somewhere near the beginning in which Ms. Swinton eats some prawns cooked for her by the man who will become her lover, and it’s certainly the most erotic scene filmed in a while (far more erotic than the sex that follows).  And I thought two things when I saw it:  “I am hungry,” and “This flick is different.”

Welcome to the family.

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One Response to “I Am Hungry”

  1. The flick is more than all right. « Wally's Blog Says:

    […] blog, over the months, to trumpet various indie flicks, but this one stands above Solitary Man or I Am Love.  Though the title is, of course, a Who song, the flick itself is more taken with Joni Mitchell […]

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