×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Call Me by Your Name’ Director Blasts Mike Pence for Anti-Gay Policies

One of the buzziest films of this year’s Sundance Film Festival is “Call Me By Your Name,” a love story set in 1980s Italy between an American visitor (Armie Hammer) and a local teenager (Timothee Chalamet). But although the movie takes place in the past, it feels politically timely, given questions about LGBT rights under a Trump administration.

On Monday afternoon, director Luca Guadagnino (“A Bigger Splash”) talked to Variety about showing the movie under an administration where the vice president, Mike Pence, has a record of opposition to gay rights. He zeroed in on accusations that Pence supports conversion therapy, a practice of trying to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“The conviction of Mr. Pence, the idea that you can revert the identity of someone, particularly the non-normative identity into a normative identity, it speaks to me of his own identity,” Guadagnino said. “I am very curious to know if anybody who is very close to Mr. Pence could tell us what really Mr. Pence thinks of himself.”

Hammer laughed. “Anybody? Anybody, please?”

In the 12 years since “Brokeback Mountain,” there’s been considerable progress for gay rights and the representations of homosexual characters in movies and TV, from “Carol” to “Glee.” Back in 2006, Jack Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger were constantly asked about how “brave” it was to take on a gay romance. But at the Park City, Utah, premiere of “Call Me By Your Name” on Sunday night, no such questions emerged at a post-screening Q&A.

“Art is a very affecting, and hopefully can be, a change agent,” Hammer said, recalling “inflammatory” reactions to “Brokeback Mountain.” “Sociologically, I would hope we’ve evolved enough that now we can see past that and see the humanity, the truth, that is present in every moment of desire or affection.”

Guadagnino casts his lead actors without even conducting a chemistry test. He shot his lush drama near in Crema, Italy. During the first rehearsal, in a garden outside of the film’s house, he had Hammer and Chalamet go straight to a pivotal moment in the script, which was adapted from a beloved 2007 novel.

“The next thing we know, we’re lying in the grass and making out,” Hammer said, adding: “The shooting of the first kiss scene was great. It felt as organic and special as every shot we did on this movie.”

“I’ve never seen a shot like that from above, where Armie and I were splayed out on the grass,” Chalamet, 21, said. “The scenes that were intense in sexual nature on the page weren’t treated any differently.”

In fact, the hardest scene for Hammer was learning how to shimmy to ’80s music. “We had a choreographer who taught me,” he said. “The dancing was probably the thing I found the most difficult.”

“Call Me By Your Name” will be released later this year from Sony Pictures Classics.

More Film

  • Cannes: Four Polish Female Directors Embark

    Cannes: Four Polish Female Directors Embark on 'Erotica 2022' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Four Polish female filmmakers have partnered with four top female Polish authors on film project “Erotica 2022.” The producer Marta Lewandowska is in Cannes seeking financing. The pic, set in the near future in Poland, is composed of four stories about women’s issues, loosely connected, and all with an erotic element. The film is directed [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Cannes Film Review: Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood'

    It has been 25 years to the day since Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, crystalizing a cinema revolution, and we have never looked back. Yet here’s one more QT anniversary, a bit less monumental but, in its way, as meaningful: It has been 10 years since the premiere of “Inglourious [...]

  • Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time

    Quentin Tarantino, 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Score Six-Minute Standing Ovation at Cannes

    Twenty five years after Quentin Tarantino took Cannes by storm with “Pulp Fiction,” the maverick director returned with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” receiving a six-minute standing ovation at Tuesday’s glittering premiere. It’s one of the longest such receptions at this year’s festival, which has been building up to the moment when Brad Pitt [...]

  • 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood':

    'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood': First Reactions Pour in From Cannes

    Reactions to Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which premiered Tuesday evening in Cannes, have started flooding Twitter, and critics are excited, to say the least. The movie, starring Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie, is set in 1969 Hollywood against the backdrop of the Manson murders. DiCaprio plays washed-up TV star [...]

  • AMMAN, JORDAN - MAY 13: Naomi

    After Hosting 'Aladdin' 'Star Wars' and 'Dune' Jordan Ups Production Rebates (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jordan is raising its cash back rebate for film and TV productions from 20% to 25% after recently hosting Disney’s ‘Aladdin,’ “Star Wars IX, The Rise of Skywalker,” and the Denis Villeneuve-directed “Dune” reboot. Concurrently, the kingdom, which provides one of the few stable environments for filmmaking in the Middle East, has reinstated the Jordan Film [...]

  • Benedict Cumberbatch stars in The Current

    Benedict Cumberbatch's 'Current War' Gets Awards-Season Release

    David Glasser’s 101 Studios is positioning the long-shelved and revamped “The Current War,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Shannon, for an awards-season release in October. 101 Studios announced Tuesday that the film would open in limited release on Oct. 4, then go wide on the following weekend. The film presents the story of the “war [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content