Tilda Swinton: "I studied with Lady Diana: my noble mother struggled to accept cinema"

Tilda Swinton: “I studied with Lady Diana: my noble mother struggled to accept cinema”

from Valerio Cappelli, sent to Venice

The great actress in Venice to present The Eternal Daughter, in which she plays the role of mother and daughter: therapeutic state

Tilda Swinton shows up with short sunflower yellow hair: my way of honoring half of the Ukrainian flag. In the film she came up with one of her crazy ideas about her: What if I had a mother and daughter in the same film? No sooner said than done. It happens in The Eternal Daughter, in which the director Joanna Hogg (as in many other guest works at the Mostra) tells about herself in the relationship with her mother. a story about what we leave behind. That lunar and chameleon-like creature called Tilda, with diaphanous skin and thin and angular features, in her metamorphosis in the cinema was a man, playing the role of Bob Dylan in I am here. Sex wears it and takes it off like a dress, absolutely in line with this ultra-fluid and transgender edition.

It had happened to her before to play three women in the bloodthirsty thriller Suspiria of his brother (they consider themselves so) Luca Guadagnino. But that is a journey into the supernatural and she is a witch, rendered by the prosthetic make-up in a tangle of latex and foam. Never, however, a mother and a daughter at the same time. therapeutic state for both, like small grains of sand in an hourglass, perhaps at some point we are able to abandon everything…. There are no shots that take them together. The daughter has the auburn hair that Tilda wears into her life; the mother has them longer, white, and the pearls of a woman of age as earrings. You’ve accomplished an incredible feat of performance engineering, says Joanna Hogg. Mother and daughter, even if from different generations, are very connected to each other and for this reason I have kept the same voice. I don’t side with one or the other.

This time, with its pallor, this actress who looks like an installation (Coppa Volpi in ’92 and Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2020) did not struggle to enter a story where both the supernatural and ghosts burst. A story without a script: We built the dialogues gradually improvising, we talked about our mothers who are no longer there, we could go in any direction, the invention was constant, it was a kind of performance; an elusive story, which begins in the fog of a hotel while the wind hisses, and how many disturbing references, Psycho, Shining… In the music we used a Bartok flute solo that recalls the beyond. There are no posters or trailers, we bring this story to you with our own hands. As for the two roles in one fell swoop, they come to mind (leaving you alone Doctor Strangelove that makes case as) several twin brothers, with Tom Hardy, Jeremy Irons, Nicolas Cage and, for a woman, Bette Davis back in 1964, Who is lying in my coffin? Where one twin buried the other. Here is an unearthing of bitter memories.

That Wales hotelit was once the mother’s house, full of family memories; her daughter has neglected her husband to be next to her, a director who wants to make a film about the life of those who brought her into the world, bringing it back to her memories. The rooms hold confused memories. The past is obsessive and present in an obsessive way. There are feelings of guilt. It’s a bit like the Rubik’s cube – says Tilda Swinton – knowing that the story will not make sense for a while, we didn’t want the meaning of the story to arrive too soon … The story is about mourning, but we are sure that we have need to talk about bereavement when someone leaves us, or not better to continue the conversation with them ?. I mean, are we sure that the mother is really there her with her daughter? Outside, a dreamlike landscape. We did not protect ourselves, we went straight to the open nerve – says the director who confesses that she has always been afraid of the dark, of herself, of the dark. She has unearthed the ghosts that inhabit her nights. Tilda brought her desire for solitude into the film (I could live on top of a mountain, alone with myself, let’s say this: I don’t ruin your loneliness, you don’t ruin mine, and let’s keep company, her restless melancholy only for fiction of an actress, because in life she is damned nice.

Growing up in the magic circle by Derek Jarman (I thought my performance in his film Caravaggio was the first and last, with him I made nine films in seven years), he could only escape rules and conformisms: Social media as a symbol of democracy do not seem to me a great deal. He elevated life to a work of art, or art as a way of life. He chose to live in Scotland, a land of which I love Calvinism and passion. He didn’t think he was an actress but a writer. What am I looking for in life? Friendship, commonality. I try to work with the people I love. We left an unfinished film with Joanna when we were young. Paladin of indie cinema, her idea of ​​Hollywood Greta Garbo, who retired at 36. My agent told me that after I was 40, if I wanted to do great industrial cinema, I would be out of time. The most important things, even the commercial ones, I did later. In 1986 Joanna Hogg starred in her first short film; then she played a minor role in Souvenir, where her daughter’s protagonist, Honor Swinton Byrne. Of high lineage (she studied at the same school as Lady Diana), Tilda says the biggest challenge, in a British aristocratic family where modesty is the rule, is being an actress: For my mother the idea of ​​exposing myself, the choice to perform on the screen as a turtle without a shell was very transgressive, it was difficult for her to accept to be seen in public, to tell the truth….

September 6, 2022 (change September 6, 2022 | 18:57)

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