Wednesday, April 22, 2020

5 Off My Head: The Smallest CMBYN Characters

I was taking a shower this morning, listening to the massive "New Wave" playlist that I made for myself when Call Me By Your Name came out -- maybe you've heard me talk once or three-hundrice about that movie over the past few years? -- and the Psychedelic Furs' song "Love My Way" came on, and... I mean I just told you I made that playlist when Call Me By Your Name came out so that song that plays a real big part in the movie coming on while I'm listening to the playlist shouldn't be a surprise. It wasn't a surprise. 

What is was was an inspiration -- I am going to watch Call Me By Your Name tonight. Tonight at 8pm EST. I haven't watched it in maybe a full year now? It's time. So if anybody wants to join me on Twitter I'll no doubt be tweeting about it while I watch it -- I'm not going to be as intense about it as I was with The Lighthouse last week, especially since I'm not giving much warning, but if you're around, please do join me! (It's available to rent basically everywhere, if you don't own the blu-ray... shame on you if you don't own the blu-ray.)

That said since I'm thinking about CMBYN already let's do a fun little list! Know how I just said I haven't watched the movie in a year? That doesn't mean the entire thing isn't burned into my brain permanently -- I doubt any of you weren't around when I went absolutely mad for the movie but if you weren't you should know I ended up seeing it 20 times in the theater, far more than anything else in my life, and I wrote endlessly... obnoxiously, some might say... about the movie. So since I have the entire film, every frame, so memorized, I whipped this mighty obscure list up in about ten seconds...

5 Notable CMBYN Characters With No Lines

 1. That woman in the blue shirt!

When Oliver & Elio ride their bikes into town the first time they momentarily pass a woman carrying some groceries who for some reason I notice every single time I watch the movie, and every single time I think she is Tilda Swinton. She is not! But her costuming...

... is super reminiscent to me of Tilda's costuming in Luca's previous film A Bigger Splash for some reason, and so I decided at a certain point that this is a stealth secret cameo by Luca's one true muse. Hey she's gone incognito in his movies before!

2. The Old Woman who gives them water!

I'm cheating here because this woman does have a couple of lines -- she says hello when they ride up and she says "Prego" (as in "You're welcome") twice when they each individually thank her for the glasses of water that she gives them...

... when they find themselves "thirsty," ha ha. Sigh. So thirsty... Anyway I seem to recall Luca saying that this woman is an actual local that they stumbled upon while shooting and they just decided to stick her into the film -- I wonder if she ever saw the finished product? You a movie star, lady! And a special shout-out here...

... to "Romano" the guy that Oliver greets at the bar, who almost got this spot reserved for "a person who actually speaks a couple of words" -- Romano's friendliness with Oliver is an important signal to Elio that Oliver's got himself a Secret Life out there that he doesn't know anything about; it also signals to us the viewers that some time has passed since Oliver got to town, since this movie's so purposefully vague with markers of its passage.

3. The Dancing Girls!

I remember talking up my love for these gals a million times over but hearing "Love My Way" this morning while showering I very nearly started doing their dance by instinct so you know my love, it's worth the dreaded humiliation of dying from slipping while shower-dancing. Seriously though, what joy they bring me.

4. Watchful Bus Woman

This gleeful moment between Oliver and Elio as they head to Rome for their last few days together, and more importantly totally alone with one another at last, is sold so well by Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet -- the affection, the love between them, just pours off of the screen. And I love that woman sitting behind them who's totally noticing it herself -- extras are usually told to mind their business but I feel like this one had to have been directed to do the exact opposite; she watches their entire exchange approvingly with a sparkle in her eyes... their love is warming the air and everyone around them! I sure feel it.

5. The Guys Who Don't Dance

When Oliver and Elio are drunkenly stumbling around the streets of Rome they hear "Love My Way" echoing through the air, and to Oliver's absolute delight find the freshest trio of New Wavers done up in the hippest of Euro styles digging the jam from their parked car. Oliver steals away the lady to dance with under a church tower, leaving Elio to chill with these two dudes... and I really think Elio's puking is an overreaction. They're so cool! I adore them. 

When Elio shows off that hip little outfit of his 
in the last scene of the movie it's clear 
where he got his inspiration!


So TONIGHT! 8PM! On Twitter and in your homes!
Come watch Call Me By Your Name with me...


Unknown said...

Love this, a trip into a dreamworld during a nightmare. Also love the woman in the blue shirt and can never not notice she isn't wearing a bra.

Jason Adams said...

It's impossible not to notice!

Anonymous said...

Aren't they heading to Bergamo in the movie? A difference from how they go to Rome in the book?

Jason Adams said...

Ack yes, good catch Anon! I forgot they switched locations in the movie. See, that's why I need to re-watch it tonight :)

Xavi said...

In the book Oliver fingers Elio on the bus...which probably explains Watchful Bus Woman’s shady look of judgement. 😂

Anonymous said...

In the book, there is no bus.

Xavi said...

@Anon: In the book it's the train from Rome to Naples and it's Elio doing the fingering. However in the audiobook read by Armie Hammer, they changed it to a train and made Oliver the one doing the fingerbanging.

Anonymous said...

I wish I liked this movie as much as you do :( I tried so many times.

Technically impressive but, Michael Stuhlbarg big monologue aside, I was unmoved.