The burdens and blessings of our patrimony, both cultural and personal, are an overriding concern in the debut feature by Kogonada. Columbus lingers on the juxtaposition between the architectural masterpieces that bedeck the region and the pedestrian lives of its residents.
Antonioni’s film was lodged in my memory as an environmental dirge: billows of steam and smoke, ravaged landscapes, people dwarfed by machinery, a woman going mad amid the devastation. But a recent viewing brought back its essential ambiguousness.
Director Luca Guadagnino and star Tilda Swinton have been unabashed about their lofty aspirations. In interviews, they invoke a lost tradition of swoony, sweeping melodrama. Their nostalgia permeates every frame of I Am Love, but that hardly makes the movie musty.