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Oct 08th
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I Am Love

film_IamloveTildaSwinton1In her long, illustrious career in independent film, Tilda Swinton's roles have ranged from the sublime (Orlando) to the ridiculous (Female Perversions). There are elements of both in her new film, I Am Love, a langorous Italian family drama she also co-produced; gorgeous location shooting in Milan and the San Remo countryside, and rapturous depictions of food, border on sublimity, but the overheated melodrama of the storytelling finally skews the film in the other direction. Co-scripted and directed by Luca Guadagnino, the film stars Swinton as Emma Recchi, a Russian-born wife in a wealthy Milanese family, whose businessman husband, Tancredi (Pippo Delbono) is about to inherit the family textile manufacturing business from his own elderly father. Their eldest son is out of the house, their daughter, away at school in the UK, is in love with another woman, and their younger son, Edo (Flavio Parenti), plans to open a restaurant with his friend, Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), a talented chef. The elegant Emma spends most of her time wandering around the vast mausoleum of her empty nest, and buddying up to the housekeeper, head of the enormous army of Recchi family servants—until her inner hunger is unleashed in an intoxicating affair with Antonio. Director Guadagnino's sensory lushness adds occasional sly notes of magic realism—like Emma's orgasmic response to the first meal prepared for her by Antonio, infused with his unspoken feeling for her. And it's nice that the curtain is drawn on their first love scene after the initial kiss; what we see is Emma's reaction later, at home, giggling and gasping in astonishment at what she's done, what she's allowed herself to feel. But a protracted love scene later in the sun-dappled hills above San Remo is cross-cut with so many close-up shots of bees pollinating wildflowers, you hope the lovers remembered to bring a can of Off. Lip service is paid to the waning of old family values and traditions in favor of the new, post-Millennium trend toward greed and expedience. But ultimately, as the story drifts into tragedy, the film becomes as entombed in its own self-seriousness as Emma is inside the stifling Recchi family mansion. Emma's liberation isn't a matter of much urgency to the viewer, and what she goes through to achieve it never quite registers, symbolically or emotionally. (R) 120 minutes. In Italian with English subtitles. ★★1/2 | LJ Watch film trailer >>>

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Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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