Watch The Protagonists
- 1 hr 32 min
The Protagonists is a 1999 experimental film directed by Luca Guadagnino, known for his work on Call Me By Your Name and Suspiria. The film is divided into three distinct parts, each showcasing a different character in a surreal and unconventional way. The first segment follows a young woman named Ida (Tilda Swinton) as she navigates her way through a forest to an unknown destination. Along the way, she encounters a variety of strange and surreal characters, including a group of men insistent on dancing with her. The segment is shot in black and white and features a dreamlike quality that is both eerie and captivating. The second segment focuses on middle-aged Italian housewife Fabrizia (Fabrizia Sacchi), whose mundane existence is disrupted by a chance encounter with a mysterious man. Over the course of a day, Fabrizia and the man embark on a series of misadventures that take them from the city to the countryside. This segment features a mix of black and white and color footage, with the latter emphasizing the vibrancy of the Italian landscape. The final segment centers on a violent and unhinged man named Hakan (Andrew Tiernan), who is introduced in a series of disturbing vignettes that demonstrate his penchant for destruction. As the segment progresses, Hakan's story becomes increasingly surreal and detached from reality, culminating in a visually stunning and enigmatic finale. Throughout the film, Guadagnino employs a variety of stylistic techniques, including split screens, non-linear editing, and a striking use of color and lighting. The result is a film that is both challenging and rewarding, a celebration of the art of storytelling that subverts expectations at every turn. At its core, The Protagonists is a meditation on the nature of identity, exploring what it means to be human and the ways in which we construct our own narratives. The film challenges traditional notions of plot and character development, instead opting for a more experimental and impressionistic approach that invites the viewer to engage with the material on a deeper level. Featuring outstanding performances from its three leads, as well as stunning cinematography and a haunting score, The Protagonists is a film that leaves a lasting impression long after the credits have rolled. It remains a testament to the power of cinema to provoke and stimulate, a bold and uncompromising work from one of the most exciting directors working today.