I am love

Three amazing scenes from Luca Guadagnino

written by Ioannis Makro

Having the pleasure of participating recently in the shooting of a new movie produced by the renowned director Luca Guadagnino, I remembered his big breakthrough movie “I am love” (2009) before his highly acclaimed “Call me by your name” (2017) and his big budget thriller “Suspiria” (2018).


The story is about Emma, who left Russia to live with her husband in Italy. Now a member of a powerful industrial family, she is the respected mother of three, but feels unfulfilled. One day, Antonio, a talented chef and her son's friend, makes her senses kindle.

Apart from the script which is rich with material for deep sociological discussions, the film succeeds to present the hidden and raw desires of the leading characters. This happens due to the directorial artistry of Luca Guadagnino who manages to dazzle with beauty and passion the spectator.

Three such scenes are presented below, with videos and a short analysis of the amazing technique of the director. In order to focus on the visual elements, subtitles are omitted.


The pleasure of eating

With a delicious dish of shrimps cooked by Antonio, we witness how Emma’s desire and lust. She has a shrimp on her fork and Antonio on her mind.

Key directorial elements are the the slow motion (with a fast paced music), the jump cuts who speed up the inner rhythm and the huge variety of shots and angles. Last but not least, with the close up of Emma looking directly to the camera lens it is like she calls us to join in at her conspiracy.

One of the most artistic and cinematic love scenes… ever

The director transfers us to the countryside where we can free ourselves from the bourgeois restrictions and enjoy each single moment.

To the above mentioned techniques he adds a lot of detail, and intercuts between the raw, passionate sexual scene, the nature which is blooming. The lyrical poetry of the Italian poet Cesare Pavese, seems to be present in these shots. Many are blurry, the actors are overexposed, sweaty, without make-up, but we don’t care. This is love.

The dream sequence

This scene is earlier in the film. Apart from the plot, it also serves as a tool of aesthetic preparation for the scenes to come.

The surreal world of dreams is presented with a sequence of experimental filmmaking, with fast edited irrelevant shots which attempt to open a window to Emma’s subconscious.

There was too much of everything
— Emma Rechi (portrayed by Tilda Swinton)