Saturday, June 18, 2011

I Am Love (2010) / Two Lovers (2008)

Directed by Luca Guadagnino / James Gray

Both Luca Guadagnino’s I Am Love and James Gray’s Two Lovers look to melodramas of the past, with Joaquin Phoenix and Tilda Swinton as the leads in their own miniature operas set in Brooklyn and Milan/San Remo.  Themes of love/lust and following/breaking tradition drive each film.  John Adam’s score swells in key scenes of I Am Love in contrast to the film’s subtle pacing.  While in Two Lovers, the scenes play out as if they’re on stage but the textures of the interiors and exteriors of the apartment and Brighton Beach are very real—like its characters and their choices.

Trailers: I Am Love and Two Lovers (the UK version is less revealing). Both films can be seen on Netflix streaming.
Other reviews: I Am Love by John Powers and Two Lovers by A.O. Scott, Roger Ebert, and Bartleby (Pop Culture Ninja).

Film reviews in fifty words, a new series (2011); times two, one hundred words for two films.

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