I remembered I wanted to watch this movie thanks to the Maven of the Eventide (or rather, ze Maven of ze Eventide), who hosts Vampire Reviews YouTube series and gave this particular vampire flick high marks. Also, as I rather enjoyed Paterson, the only Jim Jarmusch movie I’ve previously seen, I was interested to watch more of his stuff. His films are often described as an acquired taste, but based on the two I’ve seen so far, he seems to be my cuppa.
Loosely based on a novel by Virginia Wolf, Orlando chronicles 400 years through the eyes of its gender-bending hero/heroine, played by Tilda Swinton. Born in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, Orlando is a young nobleman who becomes the favourite of the aging monarch, and is commanded to never wither and grow old. The film then moves through the four centuries as Orlando falls in love with a Russian princess, tries different careers including a stint as an ambassador to the Middle East, dabbles in poetry… and changes sex midway, awakening one morning to find herself a woman (Orlando’s calm reaction while observing her new body: Same person. No difference at all… just a different sex.)
I enjoyed I Am Love, the 2009 Luca Guadagnino film starring the inimitable Tilda Swinton, but my big beef with that movie, wonderfully shot as it was, was that it featured zero memorable characters or performances other than Swinton. Not an issue with this movie, a languid, sun-kissed study of increasingly fractured relationships within a quartet of characters hanging around a secluded Italian island.
This dystopian parable had one of the nuttiest premises I’ve seen in a movie. In the not-so-distant future, the entire planet is frozen solid after the attempt to solve the problem of global warming goes spectacularly wrong. All life is wiped out, and what remains of the human race is gathered on a single train, which is powered by an eternal engine and whose rail network spans the entire globe, so it takes the train one year to complete the full circle.