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Departures once again tries to make sense of what’s new, coming up, worth it...or not, or simply “out there,” from the impending iPad-ization of life as we once knew it to what’s opening on Broadway. We’ve again tried our best to edit the world for you by creating a sort of crib sheet, if you will, to what’s important right now and how to navigate your way through the best art, architecture, design, dance, theater, film, et al. An impossible undertaking to be sure, in which we had to leave out so much more than we finally had room for, including a few of my own personal favorites, like the sensational Next Fall, which opened on Broadway in March and is playing at the Helen Hayes Theater, and Io Sono L’Amore (I Am Love), a brilliant new Italian film starring Tilda Swinton that opens in June and probably cost as much to make as the salary of the fifth-assistant director on Avatar. Swinton, who crosses silent-screen beauty à la Garbo with the ultramodern smarts of early Meryl Streep, is incandescent in this festival favorite. Directed by Luca Guadagnino—who gorges on references to old Italian masters like Visconti and Antonioni—I Am Love alternates between a wintry, brutalist Milan and the sun-drenched Mediterranean shores of San Remo. Costumes are by Silvia Fendi and Jil Sander, cucina Italiana (an important part of the film, I won’t say more) by Cracco-Peck, the Milanese temple of gastronomy, music by John Adams, and the Milan scenes were filmed at the sumptuous thirties Villa Necchi Campiglio in the heart of the city.
So why, you may ask, of all the movies coming out this spring and summer, have I singled out one small arty Italian film with the modest, if any, box-office appeal of Tilda Swinton? See it for yourself. You’ll understand. If not, let’s talk.