Call Me by Your Name
by director Luca Guadagnino
I came to this project first as a producer, but as I worked with screenwriter James Ivory, I came to feel my own deep connection to André Aciman’s tender, poignant tale of first love unfolding against a 1980s Italian summer. I myself was a teenager in these same years, and I felt I knew intimately this world: the sights and sounds; the music and the weather; the long summer days of bicycle rides and outdoor meals giving way to even longer nights of disco dancing, midnight swims and self-discovery.
I am glad that Call Me by Your Name is opening in America during the holiday season, because first and foremost this is a family film. It is a movie about the compassion and knowledge that are transmitted between generations in a family: parents, children, friends, lovers. In our current global climate of so much hatred and wall-building, this is a movie that celebrates communication and building bridges.
I feel especially fortunate to have been able to make this film with the incredible cast of Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and Michael Stuhlbarg; my brilliant cinematographer Sayombhu Mukdeeprom (who managed to create summer in the midst of a violent rainy season); and the incomparable Sufjan Stevens, whose original songs perfectly capture the love, tenderness and longing that I hope flow through the rest of the film.
Last but not least this is also a movie rooted in the cinema that has inspired me: Bernardo Bertolucci, Maurice Pialat, Jean Renoir, Eric Rohmer, Jacques Rivette. I also hope, as François Truffaut did with his Antoine Doinel films, to be able to revisit these characters again in the future. Like an audience member myself, I want to see how they evolve as they continue on the ever-surprising journey of life.