Thursday, December 1, 2022

Luca Guadagnino's “Bones and All” at SIFF Cinema: Nov 22 - Dec 15

Filmgoers familiar with the director's breakout 1980s period romance, "Call Me by Your Name", can attest to his artistry and the sumptuous, corporeal, physical attributes of, "Luca Guadagnino's Cinema of Desire". Among the array of sensory craft on display in the film, the soundtrack offers an almost baroque reinforcement of the Italian coastline's rapturous beauty. Yet, like the mildly feverish fantasia of "A Boy’s Own Desire in ‘Call Me by Your Name’", passions of mind and heart bear influence over the following tumult, sorcery, and inner and outer conflicts of his following remake of "Suspiria". This is both apparent in the film's sound design as well as the prominent role Radiohead's Thom Yorke is given in his score for the film. An audiovisual banquet, it also watches as a showcase for the cinematography of Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, known for his award winning collaborations with Thai arthouse auteur, Apichatpong Weerasethakul. By setting his adaptation in a concretely placed sociopolitical setting, and a witchily uncanny eye for references within modern dance, Guadagnino's film offered a very different, and deeply melancholic, point of entry into the nightmare of The Three Mothers. And it is between these two points of reference that we find his Venice Film Festival shocker, with an aesthete's obsessive fixation on the sensory that Luca Guadagnino delivers his most sympathetic and carnal vision to date. This "extravagant and outrageous movie; scary, nasty and startling in its warped romantic idealism" as Peter Bradshaw calls it in the pages of The Guardian, delivers its viewers a, "Cannibal Romance that is a Heartbreaking Banquet of Brilliance". Enhanced by the talent of its cinematographer, Arseni Khachaturan, and another of Guadagnino's explicit choices in music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, this is  a very different tale about a flesh-eating compulsion than those that have been made popular in recent prestige television. Nor is it another young adult exploration of youthful rebellion, marginalization, or the outsider status of a subset of identity politics, contrary to what audiences might conclude from the casting of its young stars. It is instead a finely tuned fusion of genres, that finesse a deeply sympathetic perspective on the grotesque. In "Bones and All" Guadagnino has tangibly crafted a film that burns with a shame and brand of desperation, born of poverty and homelessness and the tragedy and ruthlessness of survival. Yet underlying these earthly concerns, is a dreamlike pull that somehow both nourishes and cleanses away the horror.