Despite the “clothing optional” policy in the new film “A Bigger Splash,” a special screening at New York’s The Museum of Modern Art on Thursday was a mini fashion show of sorts. The guests’ outfits dazzled, but none as much as one of the film’s stars, Tilda Swinton, who was dressed in all white for the screening but donned a sparkly purple jacket for the afterparty.
Director Luca Guadagnino also attended the screening, as did star Ralph Fiennes. His co-stars, Dakota Johnson and Matthias Schoenaerts, did not attend.
In “A Bigger Splash,” which opens May 4, Swinton plays an ethereal rock goddess-turned-Sicilian island sunbather. Since she plays a famous musician in the film, the actress recalled a special memory from many years ago in light of Prince’s recent death.
“Somebody said, ‘We’re going to Prince’s house. Come.’ So we went along, and there was Stevie Wonder singing ‘Superstition,'” she said. “So I’m still pinching myself. It was like a dream.”
The stadium rocker that Swinton plays in the film injures her voice, and can’t speak. The actress made the decision for her character to mostly pantomime and sometimes whisper. On the red carpet, she laughed, “I’m a little sick of people talking too much in movies.”
The director had worked with Swinton before in his 2009 film “I Am Love,” and will work with her again in “Suspiria,” which he calls a “big surprise.”
“With Tilda, she’s such a devoted person to the art of cinema,” Guadagnino said, “She is such an intelligent person.”
While Swinton barely speaks in the film, Fiennes’ character counters her silence with constant babbling. The actor spoke to filming on a Sicilian island. “It was kind of wild,” he said. “It’s not an island that’s used to hosting films.”
But, for Fiennes, that meant opportunity to explore. “I went hiking into the middle of the island there were these thermal springs. You go up and sit in this little cave where it’s like a natural sauna,” he said. “You meet all these other people sitting in the dark.” The actor added that his adventures ultimately led to him being stung by a jellyfish while going for a swim.
Following the screening, guests attended an afterparty at Sant Ambroeus on Madison Ave.