This man... Luca Guadagnino
For the last two days I’ve been captured in his cinematic worlds again, rewatched everything from I Am Love
to Call Me by Your Name
. Unfortunately, still haven’t been able to see The Protagonists
(1999), his first colaboration with Tilda Swinton
, but I will eventually. A Bigger Splash
in particular feels like an underrated gem in there, with Ralph Fiennes
being the acting powerhouse that he is and
playing a character who is a complete extrovert, but it’s also a heartwarming story about past regrets and earthly desires, ultimately love, which either keeps us closer together or divides us irreparably. Really the corner stone of Luca’s filmography. His symbiotic relationship with cinematographers Yorick Le Saux
(IAL, ABS) and Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
(CMBYN and soon Suspiria
), in correlation with classical music pieces and distinct eye for characters allow him to deliver a strong sense of directorial vision carried throughout all of his works.
His films aren’t that long (standard two hours) but are paced slowly, methodically, with precision that doesn’t always feel like it’s presenting much more than a daily conundrum or two (high class lady falling for a cook, rock star losing voice, gay teen in 80s Italy etc.), offen set in rural Italy, more than often dealing with forbidden fruits. And it’s preciselly those forbidden things that twist his realistic works, morph them into something more naturalistic, inner, hidden. Luca manages to surprise the audience by making them feel for his (often privileged) characters first, then putting them in a position in which the whole picture is suddenly turned upside down and all of the details become different entirely.
Ultimately, what keeps your eyes glued to the screen is that Italian elegance, where less is more and where not a single line feels unnatural or staged. Luca finds a way to constantly make you re-discover the beauty within the smallest of things, the sincerity within all of us, the reality of being a human, which is both painful and gorgeous to absorb on the big screen.