Monday, May 16, 2016

Architecture of "A Bigger Splash" [2015]

The luxurious villa featured in "A Bigger Splash" (part of the [rentable!] Tenuta-Borgia Estate, in Pantelleria, Sicily) is a key character in this thriller, acting to further the feeling of foreboding that permeates the film. In the beginning, its quiet and sparseness suggest a precious, if fleeting, privacy that we sense will be invaded. Once the loud & pushy guests finally (and inevitably) do descend, the feeling of dread is enhanced - to the point of fear for the fragility of the furnishings, if also for the inhabitants.  As the story unfolds, even as the refrigerator fills, and the spread of food and fun increase, the rising levels of noisiness & agitation that join them - from the commotion of dancing to rock-n-roll on the vintage stereo, to the clandestine & aggressive sex act performed standing up smack against the plaster walls, to the arguments and invective that shatter the silence - all the safety and comfort that define this posh & privileged house & grounds & pool - clearly & lavishly designed for the purposes of recreation & entertainment - are slowly, inexorably and emphatically, dissolved by the tension, and the pleasure, even of the house itself, is subsumed by the violence of ... "A Bigger Splash". 

Directed by Luca Guadagnino
Cinematography by Yorick Le Saux
Production Design by Maria Djurkovic
Art Direction by Zsuzsa Kismarty-Lechner
Set Decoration by Tatiana Macdonald
Tilda Swinton's wardrobe by Raf Simmons for Dior


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