Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

Discuss films of the 21st century including current cinema, current filmmakers, and film festivals.
Message
Author
User avatar
Roscoe
Posts: 222
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:40 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#26 Post by Roscoe » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:23 pm

Brian C wrote:
mfunk9786 wrote: If you make a film about a character's Mercedes getting a flat tire, I don't resent the character for the wealth that afforded them the car, I just wonder how much of my emotional investment I have to offer to that story from the viewer's perspective. It's not going to be at the same level as Wendy and Lucy, for instance. Maybe that's class resentment? But I'd like to think it's just common sense.
Curious example, in that getting a flat tire - like getting an intense crush on someone - is something that's pretty relatable regardless of one's income level or social station. That you choose to make the situation about the Mercedes isn't going to dispel the notion of class resentment.
Interesting response, in that I didn't see it as being about the "Mercedes" but about the mundanity of the experience of the flat tire. Everybody's had a flat tire. It's not about the value of the car, but about the impact of that flat tire on the audience expected to sit there and watch the guy change it. For some it will be life-changing and tear-inducing. For others it will be just a tire change, they happen every day.

User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 3121
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#27 Post by Brian C » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:29 pm

Roscoe wrote:Interesting response, in that I didn't see it as being about the "Mercedes" but about the mundanity of the experience of the flat tire. Everybody's had a flat tire. It's not about the value of the car, but about the impact of that flat tire on the audience expected to sit there and watch the guy change it. For some it will be life-changing and tear-inducing. For others it will be just a tire change, they happen every day.
With all due respect, I don't see how you missed that he specifically made the scenario about someone with a Mercedes getting a flat tire, and then compared it unfavorably with another movie about a poor person also going through a relatively mundane experience. If that contrast wasn't about class distinctions, it had no point.

User avatar
swo17
Posts: 13639
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#28 Post by swo17 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:42 pm

I've never gotten a flat tire.

User avatar
domino harvey
Dot Com Dom
Posts: 29048
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#29 Post by domino harvey » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:49 pm

I've had a Fat Tire beer

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Posts: 11972
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#30 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:49 pm

I had a flat tire in my early days of friendship with LQ, and she came down the street to help me change it, in a dress and heels, because she knew how to do it and I was about to call Roadside Assistance. Her father called me a "pansy" upon hearing about the incident. (He had not met me at that point, I had not asked for LQ's help, and I certainly did not ask for his input. It was just mere luck by which he was able to correctly to describe me to a T.)
Brian C wrote:That you choose to make the situation about the Mercedes isn't going to dispel the notion of class resentment.
Is merely weighing something alongside other factors to assess the impact something can have on a low income person inherently a resentment of the rich? All this [literal] pearl clutching!

It isn't just about Elio's income. It's the emotional support he has access to, it's the art he has access to, the education he has access to. The natural splendor and relative safety of his surroundings, his physical attractiveness, his blossoming emotional perceptiveness. If you remove any of these Jenga pieces, the story stands a chance of becoming incrementally more compelling just by default. None of this means an interesting story can't be told about people with a ton of privilege without it being something that condemns them - this just wasn't that story in my book.

User avatar
Fiery Angel
Posts: 536
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:59 pm

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#31 Post by Fiery Angel » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:05 pm

Roscoe wrote:I've noticed that I have less patience than I used to with these tales of Adolescent Agony. The current Broadway musical DEAR EVAN HANSEN, while provoking buckets of tears from so many had me only thinking it was a snivelling afterschool special. I've just outgrown this stuff.
Bingo--I cannot believe the raves about this routine musical. (Of course, I'm not a "Hamilton" fan, either, so...)

User avatar
swo17
Posts: 13639
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
Location: SLC, UT

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#32 Post by swo17 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:06 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:It isn't just about Elio's income. It's the emotional support he has access to, it's the art he has access to, the education he has access to. The natural splendor and relative safety of his surroundings, his physical attractiveness, his blossoming emotional perceptiveness. If you remove any of these Jenga pieces, the story stands a chance of becoming incrementally more compelling just by default.
What about all that emotional turmoil from getting a big break in a Woody Allen film?

Oh and also, I just remembered, I did actually get a flat tire once.

User avatar
knives
Posts: 14118
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#33 Post by knives » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:04 pm

domino harvey wrote:I've had a Fat Tire beer
The true victim here.

User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 3121
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#34 Post by Brian C » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:13 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:Is merely weighing something alongside other factors to assess the impact something can have on a low income person inherently a resentment of the rich? All this [literal] pearl clutching!
Well, I suppose not "inherently". But I'm not addressing "inherently", I'm talking specifically about the things you're actually saying. Also, I don't literally own any pearls to clutch.
It isn't just about Elio's income. It's the emotional support he has access to, it's the art he has access to, the education he has access to. The natural splendor and relative safety of his surroundings, his physical attractiveness, his blossoming emotional perceptiveness. If you remove any of these Jenga pieces, the story stands a chance of becoming incrementally more compelling just by default.
I guess I just don't see what any of this has to do with anything - none of that affects how and what he's feeling at all. And I don't see why it would or should.

And you're still right where we started, with the unavoidable conclusion that "privileged" people don't deserve your empathy. Why bother arguing if you're not even going to contradict what I'm saying? You seem to be trying very hard to justify this viewpoint, but there's really no need - I'm just pointing out how I disagree with your perspective.

User avatar
DarkImbecile
LightGenius
Posts: 1331
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#35 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:29 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:I was shocked that we didn't have a thread for this film, though I think discussions of how theaters handled the end credits sequence are germane to one, so I moved them over here to get it going. It's a Best Picture nominee, for goodness' sake!
When I first saw the movie in January and it shot to the top of my 2017 list, I couldn't find a thread for it, assumed there had to have been one and I was just being obtuse, and figured I'd just wait until it eventually got bumped.
mfunk9786 wrote:Timothée Chalamet's character is absolutely swimming (literally) in privilege, isn't wanting for access to sexuality or the acceptance of his family or anything else that usually complicates the existence of a queer young person in the movies and in actual life.
I actually thought the lack of the by-now cliched "coming out" obstacles faced by Elio was part of what made the movie work so well; rather than emphasizing the struggle against homophobic parents or peers, institutional indifference or hostility, guilt based in religion or cultural shaming, or obvious teenage identity angst, the film is able to focus on the core relationship and its universally relatable aspects. This both works in making the film as accessible as possible while also presenting an extratextually valuable cultural representation of a gay relationship that doesn't end in AIDS, suicide, hate crimes, etc. - just a broken heart. And the fact that the heartache is contextualized not as a loss of "the (only) One" or a life-defining absence, but a step on the path to adulthood, is part of the beauty of Call Me By Your Name. The reason I was in tears during Stuhlbarg's speech wasn't because of any sadness for Elio - the film seems to agree with everyone here that he'll be just fine - but because I wish I (as a heterosexual white male who grew up poor, more or less fatherless, monolingual, with no musical ability, Mercedes-less, Italian villa-less) had heard something approaching that meaningful from my parents about the importance of not growing calloused or closed off to the pain that often comes with the best parts of life. I don't think we need to feel pity or sympathy for characters going through some of the most basic human emotions to feel invested in or relate to those characters and emotions.

It seems that those voicing criticism mostly have issues with the accessibility of the characters and the narrative, which is going to be subjective regardless of what anyone else says, but I haven't heard any complaints about the stellar cinematography, acting, music, and all the other elements done so well here; if nothing else, this is not a hard movie to watch, and from its passionate supporters, it seems that if it hits you in the right spot, it hits pretty hard. I'd be curious if anyone has any technical or even structural/story complaints beyond the "poor little rich kid" or played out "nothing but bike rides in the country" themes.

User avatar
knives
Posts: 14118
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#36 Post by knives » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:40 pm

Well, there's been reviews which suggest that Guadagnino's direction is implicitly homophobic.

User avatar
DarkImbecile
LightGenius
Posts: 1331
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#37 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:42 pm

How so? That's new to me... any links?

User avatar
zedz
Posts: 10359
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#38 Post by zedz » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:47 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:I had a flat tire in my early days of friendship with LQ, and she came down the street to help me change it, in a dress and heels, because she knew how to do it and I was about to call Roadside Assistance. Her father called me a "pansy" upon hearing about the incident. (He had not met me at that point, I had not asked for LQ's help, and I certainly did not ask for his input. It was just mere luck by which he was able to correctly to describe me to a T.)
That sounds like the reverse of something that happened with my first serious girlfriend. She got a flat tyre going home from my place, called for help, so I drove out and changed it for her. Her family treated me like a hero and she sent me flowers!

Moral of the story: know how to change a tyre. Also handy for zombie apocalypses.

User avatar
knives
Posts: 14118
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2008 6:49 pm

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#39 Post by knives » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:47 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:How so? That's new to me... any links?
(just to clarify I haven't seen the film) I've heard a few things about the film willing to ogle at the straight sex scenes, but being reserved and ashamed in its framing of the gay one. Most of this I've heard in person, but here's a weaker Internet example I know of off hand. Like with I Am Not Your Negro I get the sense that only gay audience members have really been noticing this.

User avatar
Big Ben
Posts: 1110
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:54 pm
Location: Great Falls, Montana

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#40 Post by Big Ben » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:57 pm

I haven't seen the film either but I have read the director's response to the lack of explicitness. Here is said article.
“To put our gaze upon their lovemaking would have been a sort of unkind intrusion,” the director said in Italian-accented English. “I think that their love is in all things, so when we gaze towards the window and we see the trees, there is a sense of witnessing that. I refuse with strong firmness that I was coy in not showing that, because I think that Oliver and Elio and Armie and Timothée, the four of them displayed a very strong intimacy and closeness in so many ways and it was enough.”
Make of that what you will.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Posts: 11972
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#41 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:59 pm

One of my favorite things about posting opinions on this forum is being told what I meant, trying to clarify it, then being told what I meant again. It's great! I'm glad someone knows what I'm thinking and what my values are, because I sure don't.
DarkImbecile wrote:if nothing else, this is not a hard movie to watch, and from its passionate supporters, it seems that if it hits you in the right spot, it hits pretty hard. I'd be curious if anyone has any technical or even structural/story complaints beyond the "poor little rich kid" or played out "nothing but bike rides in the country" themes.
Onto a reasonable conversation now: DI, you make an absolutely fair point about it not being a hard movie to watch, and being borderline pleasant for most of its runtime, mostly because of how charming Armie Hammer is. The guy spends most of this film looking like Ryan Gosling and sounding like Jon Hamm, and that seems like a pretty good place for a young actor to be. If I had any other criticism beyond the ones you mention here (which aren't inherently invalid ones...), it'd be that none of the resplendent wisdom of Stuhlbarg's final speech exists in any other dialogue throughout the film. It wouldn't make sense for Hammer and Chalamet to be conversing this way, of course, but the movie telegraphs that these characters have a deeper friendship off-screen than they do on. It isn't the bike rides themselves that are a problem, but the feeling that when we cut away from the bike ride, these young men are going to sit down at a cafe and engage verbally with each other for a while, and at least some of it is going to be worth hearing. Their inner relationship feels stunted because of this and Chalamet's already shy mannerisms, and it is to the film's detriment that we don't see the nonsexual ways in which Hammer is able to get him to come out of his shell more vividly. I suspect there's a better version of this film in the editing room.

User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 3121
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#42 Post by Brian C » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:19 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:One of my favorite things about posting opinions on this forum is being told what I meant, trying to clarify it, then being told what I meant again. It's great! I'm glad someone knows what I'm thinking and what my values are, because I sure don't.
Believe it or not, I've taken a lot of effort to paraphrase you fairly, so if I've fallen short I apologize.

User avatar
Mungo
Posts: 238
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 12:22 am

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#43 Post by Mungo » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:21 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:I suspect there's a better version of this film in the editing room.
And how! There's definitely a better (and longer) version, given how much this movie was reportedly cut down

User avatar
david hare
Posts: 6933
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: WellyYeller

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#44 Post by david hare » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:50 pm

The director of this piece of shit is a self hating queen from the Dolce and Gabbana school of "it's not gay it's universal" tripe, which largely accounts for his Oscar gazing earlier quoted remonstration to a breathless press. It is a gay film, and a really, really bad gay film. I loathed the picture with every atom of my body. I had thought nothing could beat his previous Io Sono l'Amore for sheer fatuous , moronically stupid, Euro trash faux posh drivel with lots of food porn and Fascist era design photogaphy as head swimming, swooning arthouse shite. He achieved one thing with that film, he reinvented Claude Lelouch.

As for the bunch of privilieged white rich totally unbearable arseholes sitting around all day grooving on their mutual fabulousness, I really have nothing more to say. If I'd had any handy I would have been throwing shit at the screen.

User avatar
DarkImbecile
LightGenius
Posts: 1331
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:24 pm
Location: Albuquerque, NM

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#45 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:00 pm

Well, I did ask for a different strain of critique.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Posts: 11972
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#46 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:48 pm

Brian C wrote:
mfunk9786 wrote:One of my favorite things about posting opinions on this forum is being told what I meant, trying to clarify it, then being told what I meant again. It's great! I'm glad someone knows what I'm thinking and what my values are, because I sure don't.
Believe it or not, I've taken a lot of effort to paraphrase you fairly, so if I've fallen short I apologize.
How about from now on, you either engage with what I’ve actually said, or not at all? That way you don’t have to take any effort to paraphrase me, twist my words to suit your antagonism, or anything else. Seems like an elegant solution to me, but it’s a free country. :)

User avatar
Brian C
Posts: 3121
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#47 Post by Brian C » Tue Feb 20, 2018 11:46 pm

Well, again, I certainly had no intention to antagonize, much less to twist your words in order to do so.

To be perfectly honest, I don't see how I've twisted your words at all. You've very consistently expressed the idea that Elio's privilege made it hard for you to engage emotionally with the film. I've consistently engaged with that notion and its implications. If I've in any way misrepresented your viewpoint in that paraphrase - which I am employing for the sake of simplicity instead of quoting several posts at length - then I've misunderstood you and sincerely apologize (though if that's the case, in addition to apologizing, I would urge you to express yourself more clearly).

So, whatever. I have to assume that the rest of the board has long since tired of this discussion so I'll leave it at that.

User avatar
Ribs
Posts: 2930
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#48 Post by Ribs » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:02 am

I'm a bit more cool on the movie overall then when I saw it two months ago, but a few things have struck me. I also hope we can all agree that no film's thread should be a device to hurl accusations and slurs at the filmmakers themselves.

Firstly - the nudity (or lack thereof). I've agreed since before I saw this, since the "controversy" began brewing shortly after Toronto that Ivory wrote the film expecting lots of nudity only for Guadagnino to have not signed contracts allowing that. It's dumb, and bad, especially as when I saw this at the very first Thursday-night showing in my metro area to a packed crowd they can't help but laugh at every single gay thing that happens, which is just a weird reality of the world we live in now. Had the actual sex scenes been made more "real" by the use of real nudity that actually represented gay sex in beyond the most superficial terms, this might not have been the case, but that just might have made them even more uncomfortable.

However, the scene with the bare-chested women happens maybe two scenes before the aforementioned sex scene, and *that* sex scene is, I think, deliberately meant to not really inspire anything on the part of the audience. It's dull and boring; it's just two people have straight sex, and neither of them seem to have their hearts in it at all. But just two minutes later, when its dark and we can't see much and the male nudity is totally hidden from us, even though we don't see it we're infinitely more excited and passionate about what's happening. Again, my personal belief is less in Guadagnino's explanation for why he didn't do it and moreso the "actors sign contracts that bar full-frontal male nudity" which is totally understandable if regrettable (and I've got to wonder if that'll suddenly be out the window in the event of a sequel, considering the brouhaha it seems to have generated).

Anyway, I do admire how Elio is just a total asshole. He's super entitled and thinks he knows everything. He's just a (dumb) kid, obviously, but it's actually something I think improves the character from something like Rooney Mara in Carol that might come across a little stale (not that Carol has any flaws whatsoever). Something I read was that the remarkable thing Guadagnino did was make a good film despite having seemingly never-ending terrible ideas, such as that Sufjan Stevens was to narrate the film as present-day Elio and the songs were to express his inner feelings directly. Thankfully, almost all of those misguided ideas haven't ended up in the final version of this, though I really do think the scoring is very clever when taking into account that it probably was, at least at some stage of the process, being inserted under the guise that all of it is being "scored" to Elio's recollection of the events. But that might be a bit of a stretch, I dunno.
SpoilerShow
The thing here that really didn't work as well for me is the ending, which I think just goes on too long in my opinion, and I say this as somebody who dearly loves the work of Steven Spielberg in large part due to his LONG denouements making sure the ship gets all the way back into port. The emotional catharsis of this film isn't the sex scene, it's their trip together, and that Sufjan Stevens song, followed by the few moments we see of them around town. I just can't help but to think of a Brief Encounter situation, it just ending as the train leaves the station and they never see one another again. But then he calls home, he gets picked up, he has the talk with his dad, we go forward in time, etc. Stuhlbarg is great with the monologue, as everyone's said all year, but he's kind of just blatantly explaining the movie's "lesson" that, theoretically, a savvy audience will have already inferred. I still *like* the ending and totally get the whole reason why it's what many people think is really the strength of the film as a whole, but I just kind of think it's a bit of a misstep and cutting twenty minutes off the runtime could have achieved a film that pretty much amounted to the same thing.
Lovely film, one of the best of the year, just wish it wasn't nominated for Best Picture. Pound-for-pound, I think in the end the film would have been better off without that baggage. (I'm admittedly a crazy person who believes "best picture" means something totally distinct from anything regarding what film was best of the year, and really don't think this film fits into that perceived conversation whatsoever).

User avatar
All the Best People
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:08 pm
Contact:

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#49 Post by All the Best People » Wed Feb 21, 2018 12:58 am

knives wrote:Aren't there hundreds of books and films with such low stakes some of which are fairly universally regarded as good? I don't mean to say that Guadagnino sells the story well enough to invest into it, but how different are the stakes here from, say, your average Rohmer film? The question, as I understand it from a variety of people that have seen the film, isn't whether the tears are useful, but if those are the emotions he would feel at that moment allowing him to break into humanity. It's a very small r romantic notion.
There are often moral stakes -- stakes of personal character -- in Rohmer's films. Beliefs put on the line, adherence to codes being challenged. That doesn't exist here, for me, anyway -- which isn't some crime, not all films have to deal with those sorts of things, though most great ones do. The lack I felt here wasn't so much of stakes as it was of any sort of resonant conflict, and I didn't really feel any emotional pull to the relationship, which struck me (from Elio's perspective, at least) as a physical awakening more than an emotional one.

User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Posts: 11972
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino, 2017)

#50 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:15 am

Brian, all I’ll say is that I’ve discussed multiple aspects of the film at length here and engaged with other people on it as well and you’ve chosen to hone in on one thing and say my entire opinion hinges on that and only that. You can post until you’re blue in the keyboard about what you’ve decided I think about this film or you can mercifully move on and stop telling me how clear I’m not being. You seem to be the only person who has a problem with it, so maybe it doesn’t lie with me?

Post Reply