Thursday, October 19, 2017

Quotes of the Day

Although you might think otherwise given some of the (frankly ridiculous) arguments being bandied about on Twitter lately, Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino is not a shy man. And so, un-shy man that he be, he always gives a good interview - he says what he says when he says it. See what he said last week for another example - he's not playing your games. And take for instance this brand new interview with the Irish Times in which he hits back at some of those same (frankly ridiculous) arguments that have been going around lately. They asked him about Rich Juzwiak's piece at Jezebel... which I gave up on pretty early when Rich proved he hadn't been paying attention:

.Anyway here's what Luca has to say to that:

“Whatever you do you have complaints,” says Guadagnino with a shrug. “The truth of the matter is I had absolute control and I made the movie the way I wanted. There’s a great song by Prefab Sprout that says: ‘All the world loves lovers/All the world loves people in love.’ It does not say: all the world loves lovers’ cocks and all the world loves people’s cocks in love. Why do people want to see other people’s penises?"

Now obviously, I know the answer to that. I was very happy to see Matthias Schoenaerts' penis in A Bigger Splash, for example. But he's on the defensive here, which is understandable because I've been there for the past week and a half myself, just because this argument, given the sexy film we've been given, is so deeply dumb. CMBYN is not a shy movie; it is not a chaste movie.
From there Luca talks a little bit more about that (click over to read) and then he's asked about why he cast straight actors in the roles, and he gives good quote on that too:

"This is a jarring question. Are you going to have a serial killer playing a serial killer? Are you going to cast only astronauts in Apollo 13? The idea that you have to cast only someone who has a certain set of skills, and worse, a certain gender identity in any role: that’s oppressive to me.

And by the way, I don’t ask my cast: are you gay or not? Yes, Armie is married and he’s wonderful husband and father. But who knows where his desires lie? I’m not going to be the one to question him. Imagine if Rock Hudson was not cast as a love interest? I love those movies and I love and believe in the romance between him and his leading ladies.” 

I go back and forth on this subject, but when it comes to Call Me By Your Name it keeps coming down to one thing and one thing alone: would I be willing to give up Timothee Chalamet's performance in this film? NO NO I WOULD NOT NOT IN A MILLION YEARS. And so the argument's won this round. Cast whoever!

But wait, there is more! They also ask him about his upcoming remake of Suspiria! He makes a great point about the sexist idea of "the muse" which you can click over to read (really read the whole interview, it's got a few good things I'm not sharing in this infernally long post) and then he talks about how important Horror is, which is one of the most succinct answers I've seen a filmmaker give:

"I think of horror movie in the context of Freud’s unheimlich: the uncanny cannot be separated from the familiar. They go hand in hand. And for me, horror is the best vehicle to display the psychology of who we are as people. It is the truest idea of us.”


mangrove said...

So they don't ask him about being a rich Italian layabout living in a palazzo only filming other rich Italian layabouts living in palazzos for people who wish they were rich Italian layabouts living in palazzos? That's a pity...

Anonymous said...

@mangrove I think you are misunderstanding his taste for the decadent and his confidence with him being a privileged snob. I don't know if he was born in wealth, but to me the facts alone he was born in Sicily and his mother was Algerian and his father thaught history and italian and he lived in Ethipia as a child(because of his father's work), together with his interviews, are very telling of him as a person. He addressed this matter in an interview, he said his latest film was not to be taken as about a privileged family but about a family who values culture, and how that value allows to welcome the "other" and be a part of the world, acceptance. I understand why he doesn't feel understood in his own country, because as an Italian myself I know this country is not generally very open or forward thinking. That said, I suspect he afforded his palazzo with his business directing fashion campaigns for luxury brands and advertisement.