“It was important to me to make this happen for James. He was used to tight shoots and compressed schedules, and that would be attractive to financiers.
It soon became undeniable: if this movie was going to go ahead, Luca Guadagnino would have to step up. We did it because we wanted to do it.” So what was it about this story that inspired such fevered devotion, and yet such hesitation to take the reins?
Also Pialat’s À Nos Amours, and Téchiné’s Wild Reeds.
“There was something about the countryside in all these films,” he enthuses.
” But he is not alone in finding this kind of connection with the story.
The book’s fans are diehard, and you don’t have to be gay, or Jewish, or to have summered in Italy, to remember the stomach-churning joys of first desire.
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“I believed in this project and I didn’t want to see it go,” he says. Call Me by Your Name is a love story, in its most unadulterated form.
Elio is the 17-year-old boy whose narration guides us in Aciman’s novel, as he meets Oliver, a 24-year-old graduate student come to stay for the summer at Elio’s father’s Italian villa.
Over the years, he took his producers on scouts all over Italy.
“The book is about this specific place called Bordighera,” Guadagnino explains. We showed them the Bordighera village and a possible house that could meet the storyline.” Later on, he says, “we imagined a different setting; Sicily.” When the original director dropped out, they went to another and another, and the dance of seduction lasted varying lengths of time with each, until all of those suitors fell away.
Ivory finally suggested Guadagnino join him as a co-director.