Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Me & CMBYN Turn 2

This is sort of a goofy anniversary to mark but it was two years ago today - May 23rd 2016 - when I wrote my very first post here on the site about Call Me By Your Name. And I know I've beaten this drum before but I was there reporting on this movie before anybody else - two years ago this was not big news. The book was known in certain circles but no blockbuster, while Luca Guadagnino's previous film A Bigger Splash had only just come out a couple weeks previously - it was well-received but people weren't exactly scouring the trades for news of his next project. I think it was several weeks later when I first saw CMBYN officially reported in the trades.

And Armie was just starting his turn to indie fare thanks to that well-documented string of blockbuster flops he did - The Birth of a Nation was still riding buzz from its Sundance premiere (before that cratered) but nobody was really writing about him when they wrote about that movie anyway. And Timothée Chalamet... who?? Timo what now? Exactly.

When I wrote about the film that day they were still in the process of filming it - I managed to dig up a couple of photos from the set that will look familiar to any of us who eventually became obsessed, but at the time I had to do some heavy digging to find this stuff. Point being... I am sure glad I did! It worked out well for me! Check out all of our extensive (there really isn't a word for that gets across how extensive I actually mean so we'll have to stick with just 'extensive") coverage on the movie at this link here. For a more curated bunch of links click here. Now bring on the sequel!


Anonymous said...

Jason thanks to your obsession I read the book (5 times now) did many deep internet dives for pics and clips of the film, watched the film 3 times and bought the blue ray disc. I also read and enjoyed other Aciman including Out Of Egypt which is awesome. Your job is done here and I thank you.

Adrian C said...

I also had never heard of it before reading about it in said post! Can't believe it's been 2 years already!

Anonymous said...

Another thank you here, Jason - for obsessing on the film. You gave me the right to obsess also.

I don't know if this has been posted, but the screenplay is available - free - online at the SONY site; google Call Me By Your Name screenplay. I had never read a screenplay before; I was surprised by both how stark it is, and how little it was changed in the actual filming.


Mike Johnson said...

I spent Memorial Day finally reading the book. I had to have some distance between my latest viewing of the film before reading it. With all due respect to Andre Aciman, James Ivory took the best parts and Luca transformed them into a miracle of film. And what ingenious casting. Armie is a perfect Oliver and Timmy is a beyond perfect Elio. Since Elio is telling the story, the book is told from the viewpoint of the unreliable narrator. The challenge was that Timmy had to pick up nuances that weren't on the page. But it is gorgeously written.

One of my favorite lines in the novel that aren't in the film (although most of the great lines are) is "Just as he (Oliver) didn't care or notice each time my eyes wandered along his bathing suit and tried to make out the contour of what made us brothers in the desert."

Spoiler alert, although everyone who reads this blog has undoubtedly seen the film. The film handles Elio getting the news of Oliver's upcoming nuptials much better than the book. I think this is due to Luca and his trust in Timmy to do all the work in that final scene. It speaks volumes and caps the love story with simplistic and powerful perfection.

The film and book will be a joy to revisit like an old friend or lover. Everyone will go onto other things (Luca's "Suspiria," Timmy's almost guaranteed second Oscar nomination in "Beautiful Boy," and Armie looking impossibly handsome in whatever he does), but they, and we, will always have memories of a magical summer in Italy.