We are all OBSCENE!
I’ve been waiting for A Bigger Splash since last September, and just yesterday I had a chance to see it in the cinema. But the waiting was honestly worth it, as I can openly say that I’m obsessed with it even more than I were few months ago. Luca Guadagnino‘s sultry, Italian sun-bathed thriller, starring Tilda Swinton, Dakota Johnson, Ralph Fiennes, Matthias Schoenaerts and Lily McMenamy, is a masterpiece. Visually, musically, artistically.
On an idyllic island of Pantelleria, Marianne Lane, a rock-star (played by the one and only Swinton), cures herself from a temporary voice loss and is all in sensual, compassionate relationship with Paul (Schoenaerts). Lying naked on the off-beat beach all day, the couple’s fantasy escape is interrupted by a spontanous visit of chaotic, impulsive Harry (played by Fiennes), Marianne’s music producer and old, drug-fuelled love. He arrives to the island with a shocking surprise: his “newly-discovered” daughter, Penelope (Dakota Johnson), who is a reflection of a melancholic lolita-teenager. The atmosphere gets stinking hot, as jealousy, untamed love and temperamental desire start to ooze in the relations between these equally vivid characters. Dancing to Rolling Stone’s Emotional Rescue, Harry is getting on everybody’s nerves, simultaneously inducing Marianne to fall in love with him, again. On the other side of the terracotta tiled pool, we’ve got Paul, a level-headed, loyal lover to Lane; but then, there is Penelope, whose coquettish behaviour and nasty attitude towards the others will make everything even more complicated…
A Bigger Splash is a remake of French thriller La Piscine, which is iconic due to star power of Alain Delon, Romy Schneider and Jane Birkin – however, the plot has many reinterpreted, unpredictable twists. As Guadignino believes that fashion plays a major role in his films (!), the frivolous dresses, alluring skirts and sequined jumpsuits a la Ziggy Stardust, designed by Raf Simons during his tenure at Dior, fulfill the meaningful body language of Marianne. Also, the soundtrack of A Bigger Splash was curated in the dynamic, sexy rhyme of this (already) cult film – from rock’n’roll Nevada Wild tracks to operatic Popol Vuh, the play with sound is mind-blowing in here, too.
I rarely (almost never) write about films on my blog – but I just couldn’t hold back from sharing my excitement with Luca’s film. Although it tells about pain and misunderstanding, obscenity and looking into the past, it’s an aesthetically beautiful nod to gestures, touch, sense and unconventional love. Should I even recommend it? Go for it, without consideration.
Photographs above: Giulio Ghirardi examines the exquisite costumes and props, which helped bulid the elusive seductiveness of A Bigger Splash.