one of the most gorgeous films ive seen in recent years is practically unknown on this side of the world and i wonder why. tilda swinton stars in I Am Love (2009), a sweeping melodrama directed by luca guadagnino, production design by francesca balestra di mottola, set decoration by monica sironi, costume design by antonella cannarozzi, cinematography by yorick le saux and features previously produced music by john adams. this film is just exquisite, from the opening titles that evoked classical italian cinema to the magnificent modernist interiors of villa necchi and the impeccable tailored costumes by fendi (sylvia venturini fendi is an associate producer) and jil sander (with raf simons) plus the elegant plating and emotion of carlo cracco’s culinary masterpieces.
the deliciously stylish film, set in milan in the year 2000, follows a haute bourgeoisie family through changing times and fortunes, and its disruption by the force of passion. the title is taken from a line from the aria La mamma morta, which is explored in the film philadelphia (starring tom hanks and denzel washington), a scene of which emma is watching while in bed with her husband, during the film. wiki source
the detail that went into the film is beyond words. it was a beautiful showcase of family, tradition and the unmaking of it. every frame of this film is a masterpiece and every scene just breathtaking. i love the real time take on the opening sequence where the whole family arrives and sits for lunch while swinton, gorgeous in a burgundy dress, orchestrates the household serving the perfect meal from her seat.
the opening titles had me at hello. it is reminiscent of many old films by visconti, hitchcock and the like
much of the film was set at the villa necchi campiglio in milan, which is a character in itself. the interiors, reckoned the producers, were a wonderful mix of home, museum and prison. i marveled that the director highlighted the house by showing us not just the main rooms of the villa but also its kitchen, staircases, sitting rooms, entryways and even the househelp’s private quarters.
“I wrote a script that called for a cube of marble with a big staircase and sharp surfaces,” Guadagnino says. “I was banging my head trying to find a home that suggested great wealth but also a restrained sensibility.” After searching for years, he saw Villa Necchi in a book and immediately knew that it was the one. “It shows the obsession with perfection and details that the Milanese bourgeoisie have,” he says. “Old money always comes with great charm. Their real success is making others believe that money doesn’t exist — and luxury, as most people perceive it, doesn’t really exist in this house. It’s very severe, and feels almost unmovable, like a piece of rock.” source
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