With his new pe­riod romance, di­rec­tor Luca Guadagnino and his cast let their in­hi­bi­tions go

Empire (Australasia) - - Preview - WORDS DA­MON WISE

TALK­ING ABOUT HIS film­mak­ing process brings out Luca Guadagnino’s inner Swiss Toni. Like The Fast Show’s res­i­dent lothario, a man who likened every­thing to mak­ing love to a beau­ti­ful woman, the Call Me By Your Name di­rec­tor turns sen­su­ous when dis­cussing his crit­i­cally ac­claimed romance.

“My cast­ing di­rec­tor re­cently said to me, ‘Ev­ery movie you make, it’s a way of mak­ing love to your part­ners in the film, whether they are ac­tors or crew mem­bers,’” he ex­plains. Yes, even the sweaty key grip was in­ducted into the Ital­ian di­rec­tor’s sexy film­mak­ing world.

This metaphor­i­cal on-set orgy was in aid of an indie drama crit­ics have been show­er­ing with praise since its Sun­dance de­but in

Jan­uary. Suf­fused with a heat-haze eroti­cism and nos­tal­gic hues, and fea­tur­ing some show-stop­ping (and po­ten­tially non-con­sen­sual) sex with a peach, it fol­lows Ar­mie Ham­mer’s aca­demic dur­ing a hot, lust­ful ’70s Ital­ian sum­mer. Ti­mothée Cha­la­met (Young Coop in In­ter­stel­lar) is the Ital­ian-amer­i­can teen, Elio Perl­man, he falls for.

For Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name fol­lows I Am Love and A Big­ger Splash, two equally lauded projects. He deems those two “very harsh and re­ally strong films”, con­fess­ing it was the idea of craft­ing a gen­tler, more idyl­lic tale that drew him to this adap­ta­tion of An­dré Aci­man’s novel. “I did it for the plea­sure of it,” he says. “I said to ev­ery­one that we had to make it lightly. I wanted ev­ery­one to leave their in­hi­bi­tions at the door — and I’m not talk­ing about nu­dity, I’m talk­ing about be­ing emo­tion­ally naked. I wanted ev­ery­one to be open and loose.”

That emo­tional naked­ness al­lowed Guadagnino to get to the parts oth­ers strug­gle to reach. “The cam­era never fails to see the truth,” he notes, “for good or for bad.” His am­bi­tion, he ex­pands, was to make Call Me By Your Name “in a sim­ple, straight­for­ward, very light­hearted and joy­ous way”, avoid­ing

“all of the com­pli­ca­tions that come with mak­ing a movie”.

This unique film­mak­ing phi­los­o­phy has paid div­i­dends, es­pe­cially for Ham­mer, whose rev­e­la­tory cen­tral turn has drawn early Os­car buzz. Next to un­dergo Guadagnino’s boot camp? The cast of Sus­piria, his big-bud­get re­make of Dario Ar­gento’s clas­sic slasher. Then again, this cre­atively rest­less di­rec­tor may have an en­tirely new ap­proach in mind for his first hor­ror. “My goal when I was seven, shoot­ing on Su­per-8, was to make hor­ror movies,” he re­mem­bers. “So prob­a­bly Sus­piria will be my real de­but.” It’ll be his sec­ond de­but, maybe, but he def­i­nitely won’t be los­ing his film­mak­ing vir­gin­ity.


Are Elio (Ti­mothée Cha­la­met) and aca­demic Oliver (Ar­mie Ham­mer) in for a bumpy ride? Be­low: Love’s young dreamer.

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