Luca Guadagnino on ‘Call Me By Your Name’ Sequel, His Childhood, Cinema Philosophy

At the Marrakech Film Festival to give a masterclass, Italian master Luca Guadagnino spoke about the way he envisioned the sequel to “Call Me By Your Name,” as well as shared memories about his childhood and his vision of filmmaking.

Guadagnino said that while the script of “Call Me By Your Name” is “strongly faithful” to André Aciman’s book by the same name, the follow up will not be as strictly adapted from his second novel “Find Me,” which just came out and is reportedly divided in four sections set 10, 15 and 20 years after the first opus.

“The passion I have is for actors and the characters, and I believe these characters have more things to do and experience and could be interesting to see them growing in life, it’s not about a sequel it’s about what happens to them, and how to track the actors aging into the characters… (It seems that) a viable option meets in the middle of what André has created,” said Guadagnino.

The filmmaker previously mentioned that he would be interested in setting the story of the new film against the backdrop of the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s.

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“Call Me By Your Name,” which follows the passionate romance that unfolds between a teenager Elio (Timothée Chalamet) and a graduate student Oliver (Armie Hammer) in the summer of 1983, won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay in 2018.

Guadagnino also revealed that he had a personal connection to Morocco through his mother who was a native of Algeria and lived in Morocco. He also spoke about his childhood in Ethiopia where “it was a tradition for the family to go (often) to the movies,” the first of which he remembers is “Lawrence of Arabia.”

He said he always wanted to be a director since he was a kid and “grew up watching a lot of films without a specific, organized pattern or system of values.” “I don’t come from an academic (contemplation) of cinema… Everything I could see I was enjoying,” said Guadagnino.

He said filmmaking was not merely about telling a good story but about telling it in a compelling, singular way. “We have to embrace the art of cinema as the art of an auteur, the idea of originality in storytelling is (not as) important as how you put something into shape,” said Guadagnino.

The director spoke at length about his 25-year friendship and work collaboration with Tilda Swinton, the iconoclastic British actor and producer who starred in many of his films, from the 1999 crime thriller “The Protagonists” to “Suspira,” the remake of Dario Argento’s 1977 cult movie, which competed at Venice in 2018.

Asked how he envisioned his career for the years to come, Guadagnino said he didn’t have any specific roadmap but knew one thing. “I won’t be making films about rich people lounging anymore,” quipped the director, alluding to “A Bigger Splash.”

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