• January 2018 1.0
  • It’s one of the highlights of 2017 because of the cast, the photography (by Sayombhu Mukdeeprom (who regularly works with Apichatpong Weerasethakul which may be why much of this film feels like a dream)), the songs by Sufjan Stevens, but it’s Guadagnino who is the star putting it all together. It’s his third archiveable film after I Am Love and A Bigger Splash. He makes unique romances set in a glorious backdrop (Italy).
  • Excellent performances by Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and the ever-brilliant Michael Stuhlbarg
  • The entire film feels like a fond memory of your best summer. Guadagnino shoots the film better than reality possibly could—almost with a filter of nostalgia— meaning it could never be this beautiful
  • Strong character building of the two leads—I love how Hammer’s character is built. He comes in and falls asleep for like 16 hours, eats an egg in 2 seconds flat, dancers with all his heart (“love my way” by Psychedelic Fur will always remind me of this film now) and without giving a shit about what people think and goes all out at volleyball. He even drinks his juice in one entire gulp. He’s sensitive enough to wait for Chalamet’s character to make the first move but then falls all the way in love
  • There is a tremendous tracking shot around a war monument in town. It’s as if the two can’t speak of their budding romance and love for one another yet so it’s all done by looks and wrestling—Guadagnino does it in one shot here and it’s one of the films many highlights
  • Another highlight is the monologue delivered by Stuhlbarg at the end. His warmth and goodness just wash over you
  • And the final highlight for me is the final long take of Chalamet in close up and the devastation he feels. It is a bold choice and works here
  • It’s largely a slow-burn- slowly paced but it does punch you in the third act
  • Form in food with the apricot and peaches and the study of antiquity (from the opening credits to the office of Stuhlbarg during the monologue) are a formal backdrop as well- it doesn’t hurt that Hammer, the center of the summer fixation, basically looks like a roman god
  • Medication on love and heartbreak
  • More than just the brilliant final shot—the change of seasons in the finale is an important jolt to the viewer and in step and form with the film’s themes

October 2018- viewing 2.0

  • A great film can sometimes have just one transcendent cinematic moment—masterpieces have many (or some it seems like a transcendent cinematic moment throughout)- I’m not ready to compare Call Me By Your Name to like Children of Men or In the Mood For Love) but there are at least four such moments here: one is the final shot that holds on Chalamet’s face, one is the speech by Michael Stuhlbarg towards the end, one is the green editing transition during the earlier Sufjan Stevens song “Futile Devices”(again on Calumet) and the fourth is the tracking shot at the Piave monument
  • He’s better than this- he’s a special auteur- but at the very least Guadagnino is a director of immaculate taste—he’s working on a script (Oscar win) from James Ivory, has Sayombhu Mukdeeprom as his DP (frequently works with Apichatpong Weerasethakul), hired Sufjan Stevens to do a few songs, chose to shoot this in glorious 35mm- brilliant decisions
  • John Adams Hallelujah Junction, 1st Movement—stunning score
  • Shot in northern Italy on location in 35mm as I said- sumptuous
  • Guadagnino edits it magnificently as well- chooses to use dissolves and fades in lieu of harsher cuts- fits perfectly
  • 35mm photography during the opening credit sequence montage on antiquity sculpts- glorious- lets you know right away this is different
  • Three wonderful performances, Chalamet gets most of the great moments and he’ll never do anything better- I like him- but films/roles like this do not come along. Hammer is great as the idol and sort of Greek god- he sleeps, eats, and dances with his entire being—there’s comic elements as well- he’s wholly American with the “later” and that the first thing he wants to do there is open a bank account- haha
  • The family is so warm- great performances- it would be very easy to be turned off by this uber-intellectual family… the discussions of Bach, the origin on the word of Apricot as a test for their grad student visitors— they remind me a bit of the two great sisters in Ivory’s Howard’s End (Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham Carter)— this is modern of course in the 80’s with the “Talking Heads” t-shirt
  • Idyllic, paced, leisurely
  • Ralph Lauren galore- 80’s primary colors
  • The tracking shot Piave monument shot is perfection- a dance- not only a stunner of a tracking shot but the change for the two young men in the film
  • Shows range for Guadagnino—A Bigger Splash is very verbal and angry- this is the opposite
  • Mountains and waterfall to Sufjan Stevens- does it get better than that? Impeccable
  • Guadagnino and Sayombhu Mukdeeprom shoot greens and nature so well- awe inspiring—reminiscent of Sayombhu Mukdeeprom shooting in Thailand with the jungle exterior mise-en-scenes just loaded with greens
  • Michael Stuhlbarg’s monologue may be his finest moment on screen- and this is from an actor who is superb, and the lead, in a Coen Brother’s masterpiece (A Serious Man)- so think about that
  • The winter at the end blasts you away—it’s otherworldly here and then that final transcendent moment with the fire and Calumet staring into it as the credits roll to Stevens’ song
  • A Must-See top 5 of the year quality film