Is it still an important cultural touchstone, five years later? » bbnworldnews.com/

‘Call Me’ features dishes in awkward rehearsal

Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet apparently went straight to first base when they started rehearsals for their movie “Call Me By Your Name.”

Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY

The idyllic Italian countryside. The sexy stolen looks. The fireplace scene that launched 1,000 memes.

“Call Me By Your Name” soared into the pop culture stratosphere when it arrived in theaters this week in 2017. Timothée Chalamet’s performance as Elio earned him wide acclaim and a nomination for the Oscars as lead actor, while James Ivory won the Oscar for Best Screenplay. Critics mostly hailed the unapologetically queer love story that followed 17-year-old Elio’s infatuation with lust, love and heartbreak for his parents’ older summer guest, Oliver (Armie Hammer).

Many appreciated at the time that this was not a coming-out story.

“Much of the traditional portrayal of queer people, especially when presented to a wider audience, is often about trauma or difficult things,” says Cameron Crookston, senior lecturer in English and cultural studies at the University of British Columbia. “And it wasn’t a movie that was about that. »

But five years later, the film’s reputation as a cultural touchstone is up for debate, given that the actors are not gay, criticism of LGBTQ portrayal in the media has only grown and Fallout from Hammer’s rape and sexual abuse allegations last year remain front and center. disturbs.

Yes, ‘Bros’ flopped at the box office. But Hollywood needs to keep making LGBTQ movies, anyway.

“It’s very loved” … but not by everyone

Director Luca Guadagnino still receives letters about the film every month; some from fans discovering it for the first time, others after seeing it again.

“It’s very much loved, (and) it’s very heartwarming that this film has this kind of ability to touch people,” Guadagnino says of the film, which is based on André Aciman’s 2007 novel.

Chalamet agrees: “As we were talking about the time, the experience was just extremely heartfelt. »

Aaron Lecklider, a professor of American studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, says the film depicts a same-sex relationship and is skillfully constructed. But is a movie like “Call Me By Your Name,” which is openly white, European and decadent, LGBTQ canon, he asks? Or is “Moonlight,” which focuses on black queer people and the intersections of class and family structures, more likely to fit that bill?

Timothée Chalamet: The ‘Bones and All’ star talks about cannibalism, blood and… good luck charms?

“To me, it’s a bit more of a touchstone for the direction of queer cinema,” says Lecklider. He says the mainstream box office hit “Brokeback Mountain” also thought carefully about the relationship between class and masculinity in a way that “Call Me by Your Name” did not.

Today, queer people are looking for something else in their gay movies, says Alfred L. Martin, Jr., author of “The Generic Closet: Black Gayness and the Black-Cast Sitcom.”

“A lot of people have moved into a space where either gay representation is boring or they’re looking for less judgmental and more fun things,” he says. Think “RuPaul’s Drag Race” or “Fire Island” rather than “Call Me By Your Name.”

Martin also wonders if the film’s legacy might be that it encouraged people to talk about whiteness in queer cinema. He also doubts that we will talk about it in 10, 20 or 50 years.

A flashback: Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet fall in love with sultry Oscar contender ‘Call Me By Your Name’

Crookston disagrees and recalls that “a bittersweet love story is still very, very rare in terms of films that reach mainstream audiences for queer people”. It’s also about sex and desire – something many queer films avoid. Although it failed to showcase explicit sex, the film conveyed sexual energy. And who could forget fishing?

Hmm: Why ‘Brokeback Mountain’ Still Stuns 15 Years Later, As Universal Love Story And LGBTQ Triumph

Would “Call Me By Your Name” feature queer actors today?

It’s unclear, but Hammer’s star power certainly gave the film more exposure.

“I tend to think that in many cases where the direction and the script explore themes that deeply affect particular people within a community, they tend to be more forgiving,” says Lecklider.

Yet, “when there are so few portrayals that LGBT viewers can relate to, and we discover as viewers that in fact these actors are cis or straight, it’s very disappointing because audiences are desperately looking for role models,” Jane Ward, author of “The Tragedy of Heterosexuality,” previously told USA TODAY.

Conversations are still going on about whether queer actors should play queer roles. “Bros” tried to solve that equation with an all-LGBTQ main cast, though it underperformed at the box office.

The Hollywood Casting Dilemma: Should straight and cisgender actors play LGBTQ characters?

The Armie Hammer Problem

Hammer’s alleged victims say he sent DMs wanting to bite, hold, mark and rape romantic partners. Will people be able to watch this movie without cringing when Oliver (aggressively) flirts with Elio? Depends on who you ask.

“Obviously, all the controversy surrounding Armie Hammer is going to shape how people watch movies the same way all sorts of things we know about actors still shape how audiences watch movies,” said Lecklider.

Crookston says some people may see Hammer’s role as a deal breaker to commit to the film. No matter where people are on that divide, it’s a conversation now that didn’t exist five years ago. (Also, Guadagnino hinted in a Variety interview that Oliver’s character might return in a sequel.)

Interesting: Armie Hammer’s allegations are an example of what distinguishes BDSM from sexual violence

The issue of the age difference between Elio and Oliver – for which both the book and the film have been criticized – would probably bother the same people today, or not.

“There are a lot of people for whom any age difference is tricky, and the age of 18 certainly carries a lot of weight in American culture as the age at which consent becomes possible,” says Lecklider.

And maybe it speaks to “Call Me By Your Name” as a whole: those who loved it will still love it, and those who soured on it might soured on it more. Either way, the idyllic Italian countryside has not yet escaped everyone’s notice.

Our opinion 2017: “Call Me By Your Name” is a first love story to savor

Source: www.usatoday.com


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