Richard Brody shared a link.
To put it both bluntly and mildly, Call Me By Your Name was a big disappointment; the idea and the ideals that give rise to it are admirable, but the direction and the writing don't do them justice: the drama doesn't respond to the characters, the situations, the place, the thoughts, but is calculated to provoke an easy and clear response. In addition to which, there's a political provocation embedded (I think, unconsciously) within it, one that reveals the unexamined prejudices of its director, maybe of its screenwriter. An unfortunate experience, a frustrating experience, an empty experience:
- - - - -
Jenna Ipcar Oh no, I was excited for this! I'll have to go and see if I agree or not...
Aike Lindhagen What is your thought on deviation between ideals and execution; is there a statute of limitations (if can paraphrase a legal term) on ideals of a film and its development and how it should have been done justice? Will the first thought on paper and its intention become a desolation of itself, is a question i seem to ask my self. Will a surprise film be received better?
David Sanchez Can we tag Armie Hammer to this post? I would love to hear his response.
Seth Culp Sheesh Rich, tell us what you really think....
Patrick Boyd I agree with Richard entirely. My main complaint with the film is how through this sanitization, it loses a lot of queer attributes that made Moonlight so compelling and BPM rapturous. The whole time I watched it, I felt like it was a gay film made for and by straight people with the exception of James Ivory. Also, I'm tired of seeing beautiful people in gay films lay by pools or beautiful people roll around in mud on farms. I feel like Queer Cinema keeps taking steps backwards and this film is further evidence of it.
Richard Hensley I am pretty sure that Andrè Aciman is not gay. He's even spoken about writing gay sex scenes without knowing the mechanics of gay sex.
Patrick Boyd Colin, I stand corrected as I didn't realize Guadagnino was gay. With that said, I still feel stylistically it caters to a straight sensibility. I do think films dealing with gay life that are trickling into the mainstream are becoming "sanitized" and aren't representing queer life in a way that feels wholly authentic to me.
Greg Stewart Moonlight caters to straight people, too.
Seth Culp Patrick Boyd Just curious, what are these films missing that makes them appear inauthentic to you? What are some examples that get it right?
Patrick Boyd What bothers me mostly is how beautiful everyone is in these films, almost idealistic. (Who wouldn't fall for Armie Hammer, gay or straight?) I know this is generalizing, but I miss the novel ways in which directors like Haynes and Araki treated queer ...See More
Sandra J. Bierman Patrick Boyd I have not seen it; it is my understanding that the message is love and the emotions that one feels when admiring, lusting, loving somebody, straight or gay.
Patrick Boyd Sandra, after you see it Id love to hear what you think! Those things definitely come through in the film and are very important. It's more a question of how those things are dealt with for me in the film.
Mmarrk CommandoJjullstrrom Patrick Boyd It's not dealing with gay life. The only gay life in the movie are the gay couple that show up, referred to as Sonny and Cher by Elio's mom. This is a movie about the want of a 17 year old boy. He's bi.
Patrick Boyd I'm also not sure it's so simple as saying Elio is bi. While Elio sleeps with a woman in the beginning, this could be playing into the construct of what he believes is expected of him. I believe the film is his emergence as a gay man evidenced by a few touches of the director, but this is limiting as well and Elio's sexuality is never pinpointed to say what his direct preference actually is.
Mon López Lugo I don’t think this is a movie about gay love, I think this is a film about first love and they happen to be gay.
Moonlight and Call By Your Name are too different. Yes, both of them have a gay couple, but then the first one is about the difficulties ...See
Mmarrk CommandoJjullstrrom At the risk of repeating, Aciman is pretty clear it's about a boy that is bisexual. He even admits that doing it with a girl feels nicer.
Mmarrk CommandoJjullstrrom ...and he gets aroused with his girl in the movie, so Elio is not Kinsey gay,
Aman Ganpatsingh I agree with you. I was incredibly annoyed that because this movie has a 'gay story-line' it is somehow shielded from criticism & celebrated uncritically. I haven't seen this movie yet but the constant praise and the bits and pieces I have seen make me...See More
Dennis M Robles There has been so much hype about this film, and the areas mentioned in the hype, the pretty boy imago combined with theItalian landscape has not drawn me to see it. Perhaps, the marketing plan of making money superseded whatever artistic bent the film may have.
Traven Rice Can't say I agree. This feels unduly harsh. I thought it was a beautiful, intimate and emotional film. Refreshing and healing.
Mark Schaffer Another film where the idea of the film's fashionable subject is sabatoged by the execution and realization, but is celebrated anyway..Happens all the tIme.. Nice that you didn't buy the bandwagon hype on this one..
James Harris Naturally, I'm not going to be discouraged from seeing it myself.
Mark Schaffer Kael's Fantasies of the Art House Audience comes to mind. Re: Also, I'm tired of seeing beautiful people in gay films lay by pools. Word..How about a movie about a retired welder in Sandusky, Ohio, and a young auto mechanic...Prolly more truthful but try selling that on a yacht in Cannes.
Lea Aehm-Weh I liked the depiction of the gay couple in "beginners" but yeah, they weren't the main focus of the story, so maybe that doesn't really count ...
Manoel De Q. Tadão But what a story about a welder and a young auto mechanic in Sandusky would tell us about beauty?
Larry Loew Richard, do you recommend 'A Bigger Splash'?
Judy Mam This is a petty and in my opinion, misguided review. The movie is sensitive, full of feeling, sensuous, beautifully acted, moving, and subtle. It doesn't overdramatize the situation. It allows the characters space and time to grow and change. It's a coming of age film about falling in love, finding out that you are gay, and the painful moments that experiencing a complicated love might bring. Nitpicks like not focusing on the caretaker and the maid completely miss the point. It's about Elio and what he discovers about himself. It's about three men at different points in their lives and how they deal with their sexual identities. If you miss this movie over such an ungenerous, verbissener review, you will miss a lovely experience.
Mark Schaffer The word is Farbissener.. Just sayin'
Lea Aehm-Weh verbissen is german and totally fits in this context though ;)
Mark Schaffer But we're talking yiddish here..Yiddish is gernan with more schmaltz..
Lea Aehm-Weh ah, same root, of course: http://yiddish_english_phrasebook.enacademic.com/.../Farb... - again what learned (as you would say in german) :D
Embittered; bitter person
Mark Schaffer Great name for a rock group..
Hilary Wilcox Oh man, I was really looking forward to this one! I will still see it, though.
In Luca Guadagnino’s new film about the love affair…
Simón Cherpitel Thank you, Richard Brody, for confirming my between-the-lines perception (from reading several reviews of praise) as to why CALL ME BY YOUR NAME is not an enduring movie or worth my seeing time.
Judy Mam Your loss.
Mark Schaffer Movies one must adore just because..Very Soviet there.
Manoel De Q. Tadão Its an impression of mine or some members wanted a gay movie, with common and probably ugly guys just to add more realism. Being beautiful is now a problem??
Mmarrk CommandoJjullstrrom It's a movie about bisexuality, which it seems a lot of men don't' want to admit. So curious.
Manoel De Q. Tadão I have no problem with that because I am gay, So bissexualism for me is no big deal.
Mmarrk CommandoJjullstrrom I find even gay men don't want to believe there is such a thing. But you're correct, it is no big deal, and Aciman repeated that in a recent interview why adults fail to encourage young people to honor those kind of feelings.
Mark Schaffer Can' t get financing for those kinds of slice of life gay movies..
Mmarrk CommandoJjullstrrom The first time I saw it I was a little disappointed but attributed that to expecting to feel the same emotions as the book left me with. It didn't.
I saw it again when it opened in LA and enjoyed it more. I saw it a third time and decided I really love it.
This movie is about the want of a 17 year old boy that falls for this handsome academic, bringing him face to face with his bisexuality. Oliver faces the same thing from a more mature perspective, They are drawn to each other for more than just their looks if one pays close attention to those finer points.
But it is true they are pretty men. James Ivory spoke about how beautiful actors help make a good movie better, so I'm a little thrown by the idea the cast should have been more plain looking. If it matters, in the book Elio was beautiful and Oliver was nicknamed The movie star and the cowboy. I caught the political comments and figured that was Guadagnino's thing. Maybe that works better in Europe, but really was a small piece, almost negligible.
I recommend seeing it and to sit at least half way back to really soak it in. Stay until the credits are finished.
Patrick Boyd They are obviously drawn to each other for more than their looks but the film didn't go as far as it could in bringing those elements out. And it's fine they are beautiful but it feels like that is in every queer film (which I believe bisexuality falls under) and it would be nice to see a range of types in queer films is all I'm saying.
Patrick Boyd Weekend is a beautiful example of a film of beautiful men who also feel real and the elements of their intimacy go way deeper than Call Me By Your Name even attempts.
Simón Cherpitel Ha-ha - whenever i see WEEKEND mentioned, I only think of Godard's, & wonder what's being talked about.....
Judy Mam That end credit take is unbelievable. There is an entire arc of a character in that close up alone.
Derek Dragotis I’m so glad I saw this film without knowing much about it. I found myself completely enveloped by the story, the setting and most of all the palpable, beating heart of Chalamet’s performance. The sheer physicality between the two leads was breathtaking and seemed to me far more honest and even subversive than countless “queer cinema” depictions I’ve seen.
A fantasy? Maybe, but one so grounded by the work of the two leads that to dismiss it as a failure because it’s focus (and intent) is to be in the moment with it and allow yourself to experience it as it unfolds seems unduly harsh. I might be old and jaded, but my heart still knows truth when it hears it. I’m grateful to this film for reminding me....
Mmarrk CommandoJjullstrrom The sheer physicality is a great way to put it. It seemed Chalamet almost scrambled up into Oliver's/Hammer's arms. Their longing, loving gazes at each other. How they kiss Made me ask that tired old question how'd they get that part so good. But then, that would be a short sighted question. They're only human,
Patrick McEvoy-Halston New Yorker's Michael Schulman wrote an interesting piece about Kevin Spacey's response to Rapp's accusations against him, where he also ended up discussing this film. This bit -- "The truth is that many young gay men have positive, formative relationships was... probably circa 1970s. The young women gain... so long as the men don't take advantage of their youthful inexperience; so long as they serve as responsible guides. I didn't realize that there were apparently still some kinds of relationships where this could be said in such an abashed way. If this was between a heterosexual couple, would it draw criticism for the age-gap, or not? The liberal stance on it would seem to have become more complicated.
In rolling up his response to an accusation and his coming out into one late-night package, Spacey did…
Aman Ganpatsingh Hm, I don't know if this has anything to do with the liberal stance becoming complicated but more with gay culture become mainstream so it is scrutinized more. Gay 'culture' has many toxic traits. Commodification for one. An obsession with youth (leadi...See More
On toxic masculinity, the harms of the closet, and whether the queer community can admit…
Ralph Benner Golly, what fortuity that Rapp gets the first gay kiss in the “Star Trek” franchise just weeks after his story about Kevin.
Patrick McEvoy-Halston Aman Ganpatsingh "To be erased twice — in the assault and then in the apology"... I noticed this with Franken too.
Russell Colwell An interesting contrast from another film reviewer at The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/.../call-me-by-your-name-an...
Luca Guadagnino’s latest film is emotionally acute and…
Judy Mam This review is more like it. Beautifully considered, generous and actually gets the point of the movie. And so well written.
Russell Colwell Not having seen it yet, I have no view of my own, but I am glad to know my sharing of this other review was pleasing to at least one other.
Judy Mam It's a beautiful film.
Jill E. Krupnik I love Anthony Lane but given the little I know about him — based mostly on his film reviews and that one Eurovision article — I think that he has many reasons to enjoy this film as a grander whole than Brody. Which is why criticism is so interesting! It’s trying to be impersonal but realizing that the best film reviews reveal the reviewer’s biases and personality as well as dissecting the film it self.
Russell Colwell I do not know much about Anthony Lane and do not love him. The same is true for me about Richard Brody. That said, I do agree with you, Jill, about film criticism not only revealing something about the films criticised but also about those doing the criticising. I suggest we all keep that good point in mind! ;)
Karen Dantas Thank you for articulating so precisely what was missing for me. "It’s a story about romantic melancholy and a sense of loss as a crucial element of maturation and self-discovery, alongside erotic exploration, fulfillment, and first love. The idea of the film is earnest, substantial, moving, and quite beautiful—in its idea, its motivation, its motivating principle. It offers, in theory, a sort of melancholy romantic realism. But, as rendered by Guadagnino, it remains at the level of a premise, a pitch, an index card." Kirk Cooper
Mark Schaffer BTW, does any screwing occur?
Mark Schaffer Perfect..Pitch is what matters..Just ride the zeitgeist..The crowds will show up
Mark Schaffer Like I suggested, these "morally friendly films are celebrated for their fashionable cinematic and evolved moralistic stance , but often get a pass on their actual execution and realization, because they are well, "our sort of film with our sort of people". One could argue that films like these reflect the stratified atmosphere of the makers of the film..Very Victorian, if you think about it...Also, The" Before Sunrise" template of attractive people wandering through romantic locales while musing on their fascinating lives is catnip to many in a certain demo.
Mmarrk CommandoJjullstrrom Today I kept thinking about the scene at the end of the day when Elio is sitting under the tree and Malfada is walking towards. It's near dusk Elio is pining for Oliver and unfortunately Mafalda does not know where he is. We ultimately learn Oliver is somewhere else thinking about Elio. Sufjan Steven's Futile Devices plays.
So poignant! I got really choked up at that point as well as several other points of the movie. So beautiful and so sad.
Somebody told me in this group once that sometimes one enjoys a movie as an amusement park ride where the overall delivery is not perfect, yet we loved the ride and go again. Call Me By Your Name is one I'll watch again and again. A lot of people are hungry for a movie like this. I am.
I can tell Brody didn't care much for the movie although I can refute a lot of what is written in the New Yorker. But what matters the most is he didn't care for it But a lot of people will.
Jill E. Krupnik I love this director (I Am Love is one of those films I will stop watching if it’s on tv (thanks PBS!)) and I will go wherever his haute-bourgeois vision takes me BUT I have a friend who hasn’t seen any of the director’s earlier films and said that CALL ME BY YOUR NAME “made her feel feelings” and so that subsumed her response to the editing and technical choices that were questionable.
Mmarrk CommandoJjullstrrom HIs other movies are now at the top of my queue.
Will Thede I loved “Call Me By Your Name”. It seems to me Richard wanted and expected a different kind of movie - perhaps something along the lines of Linklater’s “The Before Trilogy” or Andrew Haigh’s “Weekend” - with wonderful dialogue and deep conversation between the romantic leads. But after having read the book and seen the film twice, I can confidently say that’s not what the “Call Me By Your Name” story is or intends to be. The film is more of an ode to Maurice Pialet’s “A nos amours”, another coming of age tale from the 1980s about a young girl discovering her sexuality.
Aidan O'Connor Likely speaking for many, I fundamentally disagree with the entirety of this review. Seeing the film before reading Brody’s dour account, I was quite shocked to come across such a vapid, contrarian analysis of a film which has already evoked deep emotional resonance in its limited-release audiences.
Simply start with what Brody thinks the movie is about. One can ascribe numerous messages, often personally informed, to a film. But boiling down such an affecting work (for a gay man myself) to “its better if your parents think being gay is ok” is downright offensive and ignorant. While I understand the author’s possible lack of connection with the subject matter, an astoundingly real same-sex relationship was painted with both tenderness and astounding composition.
Guadagnino’s imagery is undeniably sensual and present. Call it what you may (empty, etc.), but one can not deny the beautiful shell encasing this film. Now fill within a passionate love story executed brilliantly and with flair by the male vehicles. One need not be gay to experience the resonant confluence of both the lovers’ passions and the setting’s disarming charms.
I feel moved to question whether Brody even detected the interplay of dramatic tension between Chalamet and Hammer in every scene. The film beautifully captures the precise, muted dance of same-sex mating in a world not built for such an occurrence; the nuance of touch and of posture, the fiery release that accompanies every realization. As a man who has experienced quite similar interactions, the memories evoked by these scenes were extremely palpable. The drama responds to the audience’s conception of love; maybe this is a flimsy claim, but it’s one shared by a critical mass far outnumbering those in Brody’s corner here. And I’m almost upset he refuses to interact with the work.
I suppose, at the end of the day, we all must choose how to critique. I sense that Brody expected much more structure and manufactured payoff than was offered. Moonlight has shown us that this need not be essential for a brilliant piece of art. It’s Unfortunate for those who detach to sit in the sidelines as this dazzling experience plays out on film, hopefully for many more in the coming weeks.
Mmarrk CommandoJjullstrrom Even before the parents assure Elio he can always talk to them, they remind him to consider the German proverb "is it better to speak or to die?" The possibility of a same sex attraction prompted the parents to remind, just in case, not to let the op...See More
Daniel Phillips Glad I'm not the only one who feels like this. Call Me By Your Name doesn't have a youthfulness as vibrant as that of Y Tu Mamá También, nor an emotional core as affecting as that of Brokeback Mountain, nor an atmosphere as serene as that of Paterson, nor a humaneness as profound as that of Moonlight. Not to mention that pretty much the same story was told in an episode of The Simpsons in which Lisa befriends a substitute teacher, with greater wit, subtlety, and poignancy than it is here. Call Me By Your Name simply doesn't stand up against any of these examples.
Mark Schaffer But it checks the boxes for the morally correct, hothouse type of movie the chattering class drools over.
Kristina Ruhnke I wholeheartedly disagree with this account as well. I felt the film’s biggest strength was stripping the story of all the social stigma usually associated with films about gay romance that tend to have a shot at awards season glory and getting right down to the core of raw attraction and longing, and thereby essentially making it a universal summer love story. What the maids may think about Oliver and Elio’s affair could not have been further from my mind. Of course, stories addressing the agony of coming-out still common in many societies today are important to tell, but I’m happy about this particular instance of universalization/normalization instead of problematization.
Mark Schaffer Is there male bodice ripping? Do they get down and dirty, or is it aesthetic bonking only?
Mark Schaffer Is Hollywood in the 20 teens becoming Broadway in the 70s and 80s?
Babar Suleman Richard Brody may be an effective critic when it comes to films that deal with events happening outside the characters' skins but he has shown a consistent lack of sensitivity for subtle films that are actually about the interiority and inner richness of characters. His reviews for Brooklyn (https://www.newyorker.com/.../the-sanitized-past-of-brooklyn), Things to Come (https://www.newyorker.com/.../isabelle-hupperts...), The Lobster (https://www.newyorker.com/.../the-petty-laments-of-yorgos...), 45 Years (https://www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about.../movies/45-years) and, now, Call Me By Your Name, are all indicative of this.
Moira Brigitte Rauch That is a pity... the photo looks great 😊
Waël Seaiby The last 20 minutes of the film are some of the best cinema I’ve seen. So no, I don’t agree. Thanks, bye.
Andrew Torrance If you read the review, he kind of addresses this. Regardless, I'm excited to see it!
Mohammed Forero Bucheli Hey, but, sufjan songs!!!
Cynthia Mejías I haven’t seen it but judging by Guadagnino’s other two films he takes a similar approach to Merchant-Ivory: the emotional tribulations of the moneyed classes. Which is not necessarily bad but to some it might seem trivial. I think he hit the jackpot by casting Tilda Swinton in I Am Love.
Alessandro Vecchiato Richard, I think your essay is really beautiful and sharp, and I take that you blame this on the director and not on the writer because he chooses what he wants to depict. I took the movie, though, to be like a fantasy. A lot of the things that you find lacking in the movie are due to the desire -- in the movie as in the book -- to provide that viewing experience. It is still puzzling and it doesn't justify emptiness, but don't you see merit in it?
Mark Schaffer Cynthia - Exactly..The class thing grates..Movies about people familiar to the people who make movies..Tiresome and safe that coddles the art house audience - emotional tribulations of the moneyed classes. Which is not necessarily bad but to some it might seem trivial. Well said.
Ralph Benner Cynthia & Mark: I hear you. The Merchant-Ivory movies “The Bostonians,” “Mr. & Mrs. Bridge,” “Howards End,” “The Remains of the Day,” “Jefferson in Paris” and “The Golden Bowl” are banquets of good taste that often don’t taste all that good. Or fill us up: ingesting all the stellar acting, directing, high fidelity to source material and all the lush fixings, we still leave undernourished. But with E.M. Forster’s “Maurice,” Merchant and Ivory are really serving, with material they feel through the flush of experience and they know where they’re going with it. They’ve found the heat in Forster in much the same fearless way director Iain Softley found it in James with “The Wings of the Dove.” Love in the time of “obscene imaginings” is only mildly abated and in the long of painful celibacy there can be ladders to explosive orgasms, shared by those from different classes.
Mark Schaffer Fantasies of the Art House Audience requred reading here..
Mark Schaffer The thing is movies like these cater to as much s specialized demo as a Micheal Bay demolition movie does to its aud..The dynamic is the same, if the product is different..There's almost a handbook for these type of chattering class movies...Sometimes they look like they were fabricated with the same efficiency as a Bay popcorn circus act..And the pull quotes - You could play a drinking game with the go to blurb words for this fare..I need a drink now..See Three bill boards as an antidote to genteel, neo Victorian flapdoodle.
Waël Seaiby Isn’t every movie ever made, made to cater to a specialized audience? And aren’t the themes of love, sexual awakening and coming of age some of the more universal themes portrayed on film? If anything the story of a revenge-seeking mother is harder to relate to than something as universal as the aforementioned themes. Just because the characters belong to a “specialized” class, doesn’t mean that their experiences and emotions aren’t valid or don’t represent something to relate to or learn from.
Mark Schaffer True, but I don't think sophisticated movie goers consciosly know that a Judy Dench movie is as much a product with its own tradenark conventions as the next Transformers movie.Read Fantasies of the Art House Audience..Enlightening.
Waël Seaiby I don’t see why something can’t be a trademark, or marketed toward a specific audience and still be good. I thought Moana was a brilliant film and it’s a cluster of trademark, audience targeting, money-making, brand-crazy big studio production. But it’s still brilliant. It’s both and.
Mark Schaffer No argument there.
John Blonde Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Sigh.
Karen Dantas Can anyone share for them the moment they felt where Oliver and Elio share that emotional connection? I was at an early morning screening when I saw it - my problem with the film (and maybe it was due to being sleep deprived and up early) was that I was not able to emotionally connect. Maybe I missed something?
Mmarrk CommandoJjullstrrom ****SPOILER********
Karen Dantas Guadagnino paints a picture of Elio's interest from the start, referring to the arriving guest as the usurper and at breakfast noticing the Star of David which peeked Elio's interest. But the real emotional connectionmay not have been demonstrated until after they made love. Elio seemed like being with this guy hadn't been all it had been cooked up to be in his head. But later he heads to town and finds Oliver. "I just wanted to be with you, but I'll leave if you want," They walk towards the alley their hands grazing each other almost holding hands in public. Oliver proclaims to Elio, "Do you know how happy I am we made love?" That might be where they first admit a connection too each other. It was in the scene below.
But before that when Oliver rubs the bottom of Elio's feet, the look in Elio's eyes said a lot.
Sorry if I'm sounding like a cheerleader. I understand this movie is not everyone's cup of tea.
Mark Schaffer Is this satire?
Mark Schaffer Comparison between this and Carol?
Karen Dantas I find they are two completely different experiences and the story is very different. Apples and oranges.
Asya Sagnak frustrating how people are so fast and automatic in comparing queer films to each other. would we try to compare Titanic and The Notebook?
Karen Dantas Carol was about a woman (Therese) who falls in love with another woman (Carol) but the relationship cannot continue for the sake of Carol's relationship with her daughter. Call Me By Your Name is a coming of age story of a young man exploring and getting in touch with his sexuality and falling in love with the man he initially viewed as an intruder on his summer. I found that Carol, like Call Me By Your Name tackled the precipice of putting yourself out there in hopes the feelings are reciprocated. Carol was more about the barriers to their relationship and the grieving and loss due to stakes which were the central moving pieces to the story, while Call Me By Your Name was focused on a summer and romance in an idyllic setting, which was only temporary. Carol was more tragic, Call Me By Your Name was focused on maturing and growing up. Hope that helps.
Mark Schaffer It does..I'm just surprised how the entire subject of same sex relationships in films like these seem to be very detached in their otreatment of the sweaty psychicality of passion.."Carol" only awoke when actual passion broke out in that hotel room for a brief while. The buildup was very hothouse 50s New Yorker style literary...Its like the possibility of passion is an unattainable, almost religious desire never allowed to be satisfied..While I haven't seen Call, it seems that it also tiptoes around the nitty gritty by couching it in overly civilized clothing..But I may feel different after seeing it..Six movies to see before this, tho..Let the brickbats fly..
Seth Culp I haven't seen the movie yet, but plan to. Curious though, with all the scandals going on right now, I haven't heard anyone mention the pedophilia aspect of this movie. The one character is 17, right? Is this fact handled at all in the movie or is this acceptable in the gay community? Should the filmmaker be disavowed because of it? Any thoughts on this matter?
Aidan O'Connor The way Oliver (the older character) treats Elio, with respect and sensitivity, manages to diffuse most any qualms about the age differential. Several particular lines indicate this sensitivity, where Oliver all but mandates Elio initiate the romantic contact and always worries he is damaging the young boy irreparably. This sensitivity, for me as a gay viewer, made the age difference a nonissue in terms of reprehensibility. Interesting to explore still is the relationship itself, how age certainly factors in, and what we don’t end up seeing on screen.
Patrick McEvoy-Halston I referred to it, in my saying the relationship seemed about what had moral sanction with professors and first years circa the '70s -- done with respect and self-control, both parties gained -- but no longer. Most people are keeping away for the same reason even amongst #metoo, Corey Feldman is still mostly being waylaid... it won't play into feminism or child advocacy but (they fear) only rightwing hands. I understand the concern, but I wish more would bring it up... for the same reason I thought feminists were right to question the appropriateness of first year college students (so 17/18ish) being understood as benefiting from the sexual tutelage of older men... within this "philosophy," was a mask for truths of abuse that had been navigated out of being able to be seen: EVERY relationship of that kind could be co-opted into the clearly preferred social narrative, so every one was sensitive and mutually beneficial. With that in place, people sense it's hopeless to make a complaint.
Patrick McEvoy-Halston If I want to say something a bit more provocative, it'd be that film studies has tended to be somewhat of a male enclosure -- a place where you wouldn't find it unusual and perhaps to your preference, where some male assumptions -- the male gaze -- last longer in terms of its general acceptedness than say perhaps in other arts, like literature. In short, it's an enclave against femininity, and feeling feminine. It's possible that amongst such a group homosexuality has never lost its association as effeminate men, and so people don't trust themselves to remain sounding unprejudiced if they introduce themselves into the subject for a discussion. Better instead just to give the a-okay and skit around, or if judge, then judge as malign for being Oscar catnip.
Mark Schaffer Prolly because the creators of this novel and film live in a stratified moral universe in which relationships between attractive young people and more worldy older people are fairly common, lending credence to the sense that activities like this are acceptable to tne European moneyed class..In fact, its a long tradition. Surprised no one has mentioned Lolita, or Roemer's Claire's Knee.
Aidan O'Connor Mark Schaffer I wouldn’t consider Lolita an analog, even slightly. Conceptions of consent in the two works are completely flipped; where Humbert manipulates his interest with strategy and exploitative language, Oliver lets Elio dictate his own awakening. Further, Elio is 17 years old, on the verge of adulthood, with Oliver only 7 his senior (a much larger gap exists in Nabokov’s work). I don’t subscribe to the “tradition” you describe, because I don’t consider Lolita a consensual story of love by any account, which was Nabokov’s entire conceit, often overlooked by popular media reviews. I think we’d need to further define “activities like this” before assigning them class-acceptability in certain cultures.
Mark Schaffer Yeah. there's much more symbolism in Humbert's pursuit of Lolita than evidenced in these affairs, however, I think Roemer wss dealing with this sort of thing in his films - Passion and desire of the wordly for the young
Patrick McEvoy-Halston Mark Schaffer Attitudes are changing all-around: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41966245
It comes after charges of rape were dismissed…
Mark Schaffer Are we in Death in Venice territory here?
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Patrick McEvoy-Halston This is the discussion of the age-gap at Slate, which articulates what we are all thinking: "There is also the simple fact that Hammer, at 31, looks much older than 24, and Chalamet, at 21, barely looks 17. In the book, one has the sense that while Oliver carries a sort of broad-shouldered “American” manliness compared with Elio, the two are not in such wildly different ZIP codes physically. The film exaggerates that difference. Still, none of these book-to-movie changes affect the essential way I view the film—as an urgent and beautiful story of discovery—but that may not be true for you. That’s fine. Even if the relationship is legal or consensual or meets any other criteria, some viewers will find it inappropriate or worse, and that’s a subjective reality that the movie’s fans—and Hammer and the filmmakers—have to accept."
Patrick McEvoy-Halston This for example is how we casually would assume to proclaim about a heterosexual relationship of about the same implicit age difference. Taken from the NewYorker: "Cline’s attorneys argued that the plagiarism allegations were false, and asserted in a letter that Reetz-Laiolo—who was thirty-three-years old when the two started dating, while Cline was twenty—had been emotionally and physically abusive toward her, that he had cheated on her, and that she had installed the spyware in order to monitor his behavior and protect herself, not to steal his... writing.https://www.newyorker.com/.../how-the-super-lawyer.../amp...
Boies is famous for having high ideals in a profession…