Film by Tilda Swinton: curiosity, private life of the actress



From her expressive essentiality, Tilda Swinton has made her stylistic code with her atypical charm: but behind there is much more. There is the constant search for an artist who challenges stereotypical constructions through her acting, her image and her being so off the beaten track. This is who Tilda Swinton is.

It was in 1992 when Orlando landed in the cinema, directed by Sally Porter. Based on the novel of the same name by Virginia Woolf, the protagonist is the young nobleman who gives the title to the work, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I to never grow old. The film traces the events over the centuries: Orlando therefore experiences firsthand all the transformations that humanity has witnessed since the 16th century, also in the face of a spontaneous gender change.

Katherine Matilda Swinton, better known as Tilda Swinton, gave voice and body to the protagonist. Thanks to the ease of overcoming male-female dualism – in fact anticipating the concept of non-binary in cinema – he has shaped his identity, characterized by an ambiguous, ethereal charm that escapes time and space. Just like his Orlando.

Tilda Swinton, the timeless charm of a sui generis anti-diva

Coming from a family linked to military tradition, Tilda Swinton attended West Heath Girls’ School in Kent, becoming a classmate and friend of Lady Diana. A graduate in Political and Social Sciences at the University of Cambridge, she showed from an early age a singular and non-conformist personality which became the common thread of her work on the big screen. After making her film debut in 1986 with Caravaggio, directed by Derek Jarman, who directed her in all the feature films made until 1993, Tilda Swinton won the Coppa Volpi in Venice in 1991 for the role of the queen Isabella in Edoardo II.

The aforementioned Orlando role was the real turning point in his career, as it gave him the opportunity to show off his full versatility. Especially since the 2000s, the British performer began to divide between mainstream films, arthouse works and avant-garde works of art. From – criticized – Danny Boyle’s beach, alongside Leonardo DiCaprio in Vanilla Sky – American remake of the Spaniard Open your eyes – alongside Tom Cruise, Penélope Cruz and Cameron Diaz, his face imposed itself with its austere authority in successful productions. In 2005, the final consecration with the general public takes place through the role of the white witch Jadis in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe while in 2008, thanks to the film Michael Clayton, he wins the coveted Oscar.

The partnership with Luca Guadagnino

Alongside major Hollywood productions, including The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by David Fincher, Tilda Swinton has established various artistic partnerships. Besides the late Derek Jarman, he has worked on several occasions with the Cohen brothers, Wes Anderson and Jim Jarmusch, but his most fruitful union is undoubtedly that with our local Luca Guadagnino. It’s a bond that has lasted over twenty years and spawned The Protagonists (1999), Tilda Swinton: The Love Factory (2002), I Am Love (2009), A Bigger Splash (2015) and Suspiria ( 2018). ). The British interpreter said of him some time ago: “Our bond is a family bond, […] (a friendship, editor’s note) also made of films born around the kitchen table.” But woe to define her as his (or more generally) muse.

Why Tilda Swinton is a “non-muse”

“They used the word ‘muse’ for me over so many people…thinking they were giving me a compliment, but that’s almost never true.” This was revealed by Tilda Swinton herself in an interview with Io Donna some time ago, paired with Luca Guadagnino, who said she was annoyed by this “misunderstanding resulting from mental laziness and with a touch of misogyny”. Because, as the director continues, “there is no less muse than Tilda”. An intrinsic characteristic of this particular figure is, in fact, to draw the attention of others to him passively, as a sort of reflection of the author’s intentions.

Tilda Swinton in “Suspiria” by Luca Guadagnino

A reductive vision for those who live by their own light like Swinton, who illuminates each project in which she participates with her creative capacity. An inspiration that becomes expressive force, takes on different shapes, sounds and textures – as evidenced by the 2018 Suspiria, in which the performer plays the role of Madame Blanc, Helena Markos and Dr. Josef Kemplerer – and is constantly evolving.

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