Exactly why I found ROOM IN ROME to be so beautiful is not easy to explain, but it goes well beyond the prurient interest, which, once one is watching the film itself (when the actresses are draped by many more towels and bathrobes than implied by the publicity), gives way to the enchantment of the storytelling (redolent of The Arabian Nights), the play between truth and fantasy (Borgesian in its ambiguity), the psychology of symbolic imagery (subtler than Jung or Campbell) and the as if mystical power of synchronicity in human relations.

It is no surprise to find these themes thoroughly realized by Julio Medem, the director who gave us Sex and Lucia and The Lovers of the Arctic Circle. Elena Anaya, however, astounded me with her depth, insight and sheer cleverness. I shall not forget the look of on her face just before collapsing after having been struck by, well, Cupid’s arrow – whether literally or imaginatively is open to question as only Medem can leave it. In that moment, myth and reality are indistinguishable in the amazed weariness of her eyes and the tired dryness of her lips.

When the multilingual ROOM IN ROME (its principal language is English) will open in the United States, or whether it will be shown anywhere outside a few cosmopolitan centers, I do not know, but we will be spiritually the richer for it when and where it does, all the poorer when and where it doesn’t.

Check listings for viewing options.

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