Tuesday 29 Jul

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | 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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