Monday 21 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · A standard story questioning the...

A standard story questioning the root of passions within a wealthy family is upgraded with quiet execution in 'I Am Love'

Mike Robertson July 29th, 2010

The story of the individual caught between duty and desire has been told in a thousand ways, but it's a story that still has the power to captivate.

As humans, we're wired for order and chaos, discipline and disorder, reason and passion. This fundamental dichotomy is a major source of conflict in our lives and in the fictions we create. One permutation of this theme " the individual caught between duty and desire " has been retold a thousand times in a thousand ways, but, depending on who's telling it, it's a story that still has the power to captivate.

In "I Am Love," our duty-bound passion-seeker is Emma (Tilda Swinton, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"), a middle-aged mother and wife. Emma is married to Tancredi (Pippo Delbono), who, along with his son, Edoardo (Flavio Parenti), has inherited control of his family's textile manufacturing business from his father, the family's patriarch.

As Tancredi moves into his father's position as head of the family and its business, Emma is expected to move into the role of family matriarch, executing dinner parties and other events designed to maintain and advance the family's social and business standing in Milan. As she moves into this role, it becomes apparent that the family's very identity is structured around its business and wealth, something that must be maintained at any personal cost. 

The Italian film screens Friday through Sunday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

Edoardo, who is supposed to be running the business with his father, is instead pushed to the side. To keep himself occupied, Edoardo begins a business relationship with Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), a gifted chef.

Emma begins contracting Antonio's services for her various soirées. On a visit to the countryside to see the future restaurant's location, the pair let passions subdue their rationality, allowing nature to watch as nature takes its course.

Emma and Antonio keep things under wraps at first, but their desire for each other leads to slips, and they are eventually discovered. The carefully constructed, rigid set of relationships the family has created to maintain its wealth and social standing begins tottering, and you just know someone will be crushed underneath when it finally comes down.

There's nothing especially clever or original about this plot, and no one's pretending there is. What charm "Love" contains is in its execution. For some, this aspect of the movie will please, as it's full of cultural tourist moments in which we get to see how rich Milanese people entertain, torture and console themselves and each other. The Milanese architecture and the Italian countryside and coast don't hurt, either.

For others, the movie's overall quietness will become annoying. If you're not interested in the scenery, the pacing will seem slow, while the dramatic tension will feel like a slow burn that never fully ignites.

But really, the movie's execution is a reflection of its main message, which is that the greatest pleasure is to be found in the balance between chaotic physicality and ordered consideration. There are serious consequences to Emma's affair, but the important question is which sin caused them: her desire to break away, or the family's inhuman rigidity? --Mike Robertson
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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