Pop-Culture Corner: Call Me By Your Name

By Ben Schroff

Call Me By Your Name is a new type of queer film. Most of us are used to a light hearted comedy or a heart-wrenching drama. These kinds of films have come to be the classic categories for queer film.

However, recent Oscar movies like Moonlight and Call Me By Your Name have opened up an entirely new genre for queer films. They are a slow burn, with slower build up. They’re still inherently dramatic, but they are more geared toward the heart.

Call Me By Your Name stars Armie Hammer as Oliver, an American graduate student, and Timothee Chalamet as Elio, the son of a professor in Italy who hosts a graduate student each summer.

Their relationship is meant to show the pain and excitement that comes with desiring a person and not knowing whether they have the same interest in you. The film tries to translate this from the novel by André Aciman, and does the best it can do, however, the film is unable to translate the suspense and the words of the novel. This leaves something to be desired, especially if you read the novel before seeing the film. If you have not read the novel, then there is a good chance that you will have an enjoyable experience.

That being said, Call Me By Your Name is not for the casual moviegoer. It is an Oscar film, and one that is about the nuances of human interaction, or inaction. While it studies a fairly common human emotion and common human experience, if you do not like slow-burning films you may not enjoy Call Me By Your Name.

Overall, this film benefits from being adapted from a great screenplay, heartfelt acting, and thought out directing. To me, as a reader of the book, it felt like they made every attempt to be faithful to the raw emotion you felt from Elio’s narration. As a viewer, you can tell that they put every resource into recreating a raw emotional experience. I recommend seeing this film and, at the very least, enjoying this new genre of queer film.

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