Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name ★★★★★

“What you two had, had everything and nothing to do with intelligence.”

This film is almost meditative to me at this point. It’s become somewhat of a prayer, or reverie, a dream-sequence that plays again and again in my head. The first hour, with its delicate music and gorgeous cinematography, felt so utterly calming, like a reflection on my life and Elio’s. I let the lingering of the camera wash over me and felt completely taken in and swept away by summer 1983, somewhere in northern Italy. 

I watched with commentary from Michael Stuhlbarg and Timothee Chalamet for the first time today and gained so much insight and lovely knowledge to a film I thought I knew all the way through. This film is so deeply ingrained in my subconscious, but it always surprises me (I say that every time but it's true!). This time around, the commentary took away from the overly emotional aspect of the film, but gave me heaps of personal and technical details I never would have known and I think I now have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the lingering camera movements, the blocking, the dialogue, the body language. Timothee talked about how a lot of his acting directions were just to exist, just letting every movement feel like real life, and not worrying about every scene moving the plot forward. So many movements don’t act as exposition, but exist solely for the purpose of living the film. It’s intoxicating and leaves me breathless because of how much I desperately want to live that summer, and I know I never will.

This movie is a part of me, no matter what. I can smell the heat rising from the stones, the salt of the sea; I taste the apricot juice, the sweat; I feel the warm sun on my back; I hear the cicadas and the chatter of friends. It’s all so very real and fleshed out within my own mind, and everytime I revisit this film it reignites that same flame inside me. I feel like I'm in Elio's summer all over again, living his life, thinking his thoughts, getting the same butterflies around Oliver and being crushed with the same feeling that nothing lasts forever. I get giddy and excited to watch this again, and I get weepy and attached to events I seem to forget are coming. I got to experience more beauty of the filmmaking this time around, something I truly didn’t think was possible with a film so grand and gorgeous. I worry one day the film will get worn out from so many rewatches, but I honestly doubt that will ever happen. Its power and presence and ‘control’ in my life will never diminish, just like Elio and Oliver’s love will never fade. I never want to forget it, but at the same time I’d love to watch it for the first time again.

It is hard to put such an experience into comprehensible words, and I don't think anything I ever write will do the love and devotion I feel towards “Call Me By Your Name” justice. It is the greatest piece of love or life I have ever seen, and I owe it a whole lot. It also owes me a lot for making me depressed and drained and utterly, blissfully wistful. I go about my days saddened and longing for the summer I may never have, but am so delighted I got to experience.

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