La Grande Bellezza is one of the most beautifully intriguing films to be seen in a while, drawing the audience in without the usual obvious plot to hold your hand and guide you mindlessly through the images gliding across the screen. Amidst the captivating architecture of Rome, the characters draw you in with their body language, their charm and their nature. As the film explores the pretentions of the Roman upper class, the landscape of one of the world’s most majestic cities unfurls before you, distracting with it’s marble, fountains, sculpture and cobbles. So where better to experience a grand beauty of cinema than under the admittedly stormy skies in Somerset House’s equally recognisable and structurally impressive architecture? As the city of London flowed around us in the audience, we flew around the city of Rome, following the heartbreak, acceptance and search for beauty and meaning of Jep and his friends. The crowning feature of the piece is that each person reacts differently to it and truly sees it with fresh eyes. Whilst I was left with tear-stained cheeks wanting to live forever in the beauty of the film, my companions viewed it as a story of coming to terms with age, the loss of love, the search for happiness. It seems only right to follow that experience up with another night under the stars, this time viewing what is arguably my favourite film ever. It is not a film you could watch every day, but it is superb. Similarly, its key feature is the colours, landscapes and visual aspect of the film, with an ending that has no conclusion, morals that are immoral and detestable characters. A film that has received such negative critique, it makes you question yourself for enjoying it, feeling dirty and ashamed. This only serves to heighten the experience and add another dimension to the many neon layers. What else could it be than Harmony Korine’s infamous Spring Breakers? Do you judge me for defending a film where drugs and arms are glorified, the bad guy wins and anything immoral that could happen, does? Tough. I’ll defend it to the end. It’s fresh, it questions, it doesn’t answer and it’s stunning.
Think what you will, I’m off to see it a third time and will always get something new out of it, time after time. Because, just like La Grande Bellezza, each viewer reacts differently and that makes it all the more exciting. Spring break forever, bitch.