Film review: Call Me by Your Name (Director: Luca Guadagnino)
By Sascha Krieger
Soft sunlight drenches the village somewhere in northern Italy when Oliver arrives. The handsome American in his mid-20s immediately catches the eye of 17-year-old Elio, the son of the archeology professor Oliver has come to assist for six weeks. Luca Guadagnino’s celebrated film opens right with that first glance Elio can direct at the „usurper“ as he calls him on account of living in Elio’s room for the duration of his stay. The camera follows Elio’s eyes, filming Oliver’s arrival from the upstairs window Elio watches it from. Camera angles and focus play a key part in the way the film tells its story: The camera eye looks from above or below, faces quickly slide out of and into focus, partial views change with tha camera moving away, characters often moving into the foreground from a distance or remaining them. Shots over the shoulder are common, foreground and background swap places. The film thus mirrors the economy of looks and glances that the budding relationship of Elio and Oliver is built on, the maze of attraction and refusal, the slow and confusing process of understanding. The way they look at each other or deliberately refuse to do so is telling of what is about to happen long before it does.