Vanessa Kirby knows how to hold space in front of a lens. Whether it's her role as Princess Margaret in the first season of The Crown or as a bereaved mother in the deeply moving and devastating Pieces of a Woman, we cannot tear our eyes away from the British actress. That's why we're pencilling the January 2022 release date for new indie film Italian Studies into our diaries.
Initially premiering at Tribeca Film Festival 2021, Italian Studies is a slow-moving drama that sees Vanessa Kirby's character wandering the streets of New York City trying to piece together fragmented memories. As Kirby walks we're invited into her stream of consciousness which reveals a woman distrustful of her own mind. "All of my memories begin with me walking among these people", she says while standing amidst the bustling crowds and glimmering lights of a New York City street one evening.
Each scene is imbued with Kirby's careful presence, still, self-conscious and incredibly raw. The music is an ominous undercurrent that continues to keep us on our toes, and at times enters the territory of a thriller: what lies ahead for a woman uncertain of who and where she is? How will she find her way home?
As the film progresses we are privy to conversations Kirby has with strangers, most notably a teenaged boy, and one can't quite pin down if they're real or imagined, which is presumably the point.
Helmed by filmmaker Adam Leon, Italian Studies is a curious film and while the meaning of the title remains unclear we're interested to see where it takes us. Joining Kirby are actors David Ajala, Annika Wahlsten, and Lars Wahlsten.
Ahead of the film's release date on January 15, 2022 you can take a turn through the far off streets of New York City in the trailer for Italian Studies, below.