sexta-feira, janeiro 05, 2018

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

This doesn't mean I will go back to writting on the blog, but With still many people going to the cinema to watch "Call Me By Your Name" and as I remain in complete awe of this extraordinairy film, I really want to share what I wrote on my Facebook account over a month ago.


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QUICK INTRO: Let me start off by saying this is hands-down the best movie I've seen in 2017... and along with last year's Oscar winner "Moonlight", one of the best things I've certainly come across in a very long time.


"Call Me By Your Name" (2017) is a film based on the novel with the same name written by André Aciman.

The movie is directed by Luca Guadagnino, known to audiences for "I am Love" (2009) and "A Bigger Splash" (2015), both of which are part of the “Desire trilogy” that comes full circle with his latest project.

Featuring a fantastic cast lead by Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet, the movie has been labelled by some as a gay love affair, but frankly that barely scratches the surface… More than that, it’s a film about “first love”, “self-discovery” and “heartache”... in essence, a coming-of-age drama that many of us can relate to, regardless of our sexual orientation and our views on the same.
I won't lie... for this movie, the expectations were high.

A 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes was a big part of it, but even before reviews started pouring in, I had placed all my faith in a trailer that resonated with me – even though I try not to rely on these, as they can often be highly disappointing.

As I sat in that theater room and the movie started, I knew I was in for a treat.

The opening titles are as indulgent as it gets.... Fantastic use of fonts layered on top of a sequence of images played to the sound of “Hallelujah Junction – 1st movement” by John Adams - a beautiful (and intense) piano instrumental. The whole thing makes an instant impact…

Soon after, we are given a time and place. 1983, somewhere in Northern Italy… a place close to the heart of the director who chose to film most his feature in Crema.

As each scene unfolds, we get to know of each of the characters, with focus on Elio Perlman (Chalamet) and his parents, Professor Lyle Perlman and Annella Perlman (played by Michael Stuhlbarg and Amira Casar).

The family – who every year spend their summer holidays in the Italian countryside – are hosting a very special guest: an American that goes by the name of Oliver (Armie Hammer).
Oliver is one of Professor Perlman students… very bright, confident, with a certain cool aura around him…

Oliver quickly settles in and becomes increasingly popular among his new crowd… except with Elio, who at first seems to be put-off by his personality – claiming Oliver to be arrogant.
Obviously, as the characters get to spend time together, the relationship evolves – their shared Jewish heritage, their interest in music... all of which come to fruition under some of the most stunning Italian backdrops.

If everything about what I wrote and what you’ve seen says this is quite a straight forward narrative, well let me tell you right now: it isn’t.
It’s complex and messy… so many layers that make us reevaluate who we are, who we once were and what we aim to be.

I certainly traveled back and forward in time, thinking about how I dealt with my own emotions when in the face of what I thought was my first love, what it actually was like in the face of true love and how I did my best to cope with all the emotions that went through my mind and body at the time. It has also given me another source of inspiration to what I would hope to one day be when - and if - I have kids of my own. The father figure played by Shuhlbarg is a parent that we should all strive to one day be. Open minded, caring, cultured and with a tremendous heart. As a review said - "the most forward thinking father in movie history".

But I’m getting ahead of myself and with most things I write when it comes to cinema, I try not to give much away about the plot, the trades that make the people on-screen special and so on…
It’s a tricky one though… I’m feeling such eagerness – almost a dyslexic one – to write and talk about anything and everything in this film…

I can honestly say I haven’t been as excited about a movie since last year’s "Moonlight"… and if you remember talking to me around the time it came out, you know how much it meant to me…
Both share a lot of similarities and I’m not even talking about the sexuality theme… there’s a set of different things that each bring to the table.

When it comes to “Call Me By Your Name”, I found it easier to relate to… aesthetically its gorgeous… every shot there for a reason, the use of colors, the framing, the setting… every scene full of meaning… the use of music always on point… the direction and acting just bringing all these elements (and more) together, absolutely justifying the over two hours in length of this “likely to be an award winning motion picture”.

And by the way, on the music front… It’s one of the best soundtracks I’ve listen this year (the last one I thought to myself was up there with this one was “Nocturnal Animals”).

I’ve mentioned the track that kick-starts the film… but what about the array of 80s American and European dance flavours? The epic scene where Armie’s character is getting lose on the dance floor to the sound of “Love My Way” by The Psychedelic Furs… and more importantly the tunes which Sufjan Stevens wrote specifically for the film, at the request of Guadignani himself.

Both “Mystery of Love” and “Visions of Gideon” should be top contenders for the “Best Original Song” category… but even with the bar set high with those two, his other song “Futile Devices”, which has been released as a remix, is also to die for. All three are sure to break your heart.

As great as the soundtrack is, I urge you not to listen to it before seeing the movie. Each of the chosen tracks blend in perfectly with pictures and being able to see that for the first time has huge impact, stirs different set of emotions at a different pace and time.

In conclusion, all I can wish is that you enjoy it as much as I did.


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