April 25, 2004|It's in the mezzanine of what remains one of the more interesting places in Colorado to see a film, Denver's Mayan Theater, that I've come to meet Scottish director David Mackenzie and one of the stars of his sophomore film Young Adam, the strikingly, ethereally beautiful and staunchly uncompromising Tilda Swinton. Far more delicate-seeming in person than on the screen, Ms. Swinton is dressed in a loose brown shirt that she'll pull over her legs, knees folded against her chest, several times during the course of our conversation--a charming, almost alarmingly childlike pose from an actress I most readily associate with ferocious, audacious turns in Derek Jarman's free-verse celluloid poetry and best-of-bad-movie appearances in everything from Vanilla Sky to The Beach to The Statement. Her work marked by a driving curiosity about the riddle of (most often sexual) identity and the role of film as oral tradition, she proves to again be the strongest ingredient of a conflicted picture, playing the role of a disquiet wife of a bargeman in Young Adam with her trademark ferocity and intelligence. Mackenzie, by contrast or complement, is a little shy, almost sheepish. We traveled a little way from Young Adam to talk more generally about poetry and the cinema, as well as the damnable inadequacies of conventional communication.