Saturday, October 06, 2007
My Weekend Crush
I first saw Tilda Swinton 15 years ago. Sitting in a dark lecture hall that doubled as an independent film theater, I watched the surreal cross-dressing dream that was “Orlando” unfurl before my eyes. It was strange and beautiful and fascinating and confusing. Just like Tilda. In fact, that role typifies Tilda’s avant-garde, gender-bending, defiantly-unconventional career. From her lesbian turn in “Female Perversions” to her raw physicality of “Young Adam,” her movies aren’t always easy to watch. Yet it is nearly impossible to take your eyes off her. Perhaps a recent headline from the U.K. paper The Times put it best: “Why Tilda Swinton is pale and interesting.” She has a strikingly intense beauty that quashes the easy accessibility of prettiness. Her angular, avian features belie a ferociousness that simmers just underneath the surface. It made her the perfect White Witch. And while that role introduced her to a lager mainstream audience, those who first saw her 15 years ago, like me, have known all along. She is strange and beautiful and fascinating and confusing. And just try to take your eyes off her. Happy weekend, all.