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Entries in James Ivory (10)

Wednesday
Jan032018

Will "Call Me By Your Name" Be Ignored by Oscar? 

The following article was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It's reprinted here with some updates... 

Though you might feel like you’ve been hearing “Oscar buzz” for months, it’s always good to be reminded that timetables are askew and “buzz” is a lot faster/noisier than the real thing. Academy members don’t actually start filling out their nomination ballots until Friday morning!

They’ll have one week to determine which movies and performances are in the running for the industry’s most coveted golden statues. Each year some adult-oriented movies risk going wide without Oscar’s blessing while others lay in wait, banking on Oscar favor to help sell them to a wider audience. One of the pictures that’s trying the lay-low-until-Oscar game is the gay coming-of-age drama Call Me By Your Name. Though it’s been in theaters for six weeks it still hasn’t expanded past major markets and is only on 115 screens (stateside) at this writing. It’s poised to become either one of the biggest Oscar players or one of the most “snubbed”. So this seems as good a time as any to share some anxiety about it...

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Thursday
Nov302017

Blueprints: "Call Me by Your Name"

Wrapping up Call Me by Your Name week at The Film Experience, so Jorge takes a look at its screenplay to talk one of the biggest and most successful changes made from the novel to the screen. It’s peachy.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect about adapting a book into a movie is converting the literary language into something visual; show with images what in the page is being told with words. This is especially hard if the novel takes place within a single character’s mind and perception, like “Call Me by Your Name” does with Elio.

One of the easier solutions (sometimes merited, others not so much) is translating the thoughts that the character has on the book into voice-over. It’s a simple, straight-forward way to effectively convey ideas and feelings.

Call Me by Your Name, the film, has been lauded (among many other things) for avoiding this go-to trope, and instead using action and visual cues to convey Elio’s quiet longing for Oliver, and the intimacy and slow simmer of their romance. However, it wasn’t always like this...

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Wednesday
Nov292017

Call Me With Kindness

by Jason Adams

Call Me By Your Name is turning out to be the sort of success none of us saw coming sixteen months ago when it was first announced that the director of I Am Love was tackling a little gay love story. It just broke the 2017 record for per theater average over the weekend, and its reviews have been unanimously stellar. It won Best Feature at the Gothams Monday night, it topped the Independent Spirit nominations, and it’s expected to stick around racking up such prizes all awards season long.

And yet there’s been one complaint that’s nagged at the movie from a determined bunch of folks (including the film’s own writer, legend James Ivory) since it first screened at Sundance in January – a supposed shyness about nudity and gay sex. Ivory told Variety it’s a “pity” there's no full-frontal nudity in the film, while The Guardian called the movie “coy” and Slate called it out for a “lack of explicit sex.” One shot in particular has rankled these folks the most – a seemingly old-fashioned pan out the window just as the characters finally approach their erotic consummation.

The film’s director Luca Guadagnino, who probably had to look up the word “coy” in the dictionary the first time it was lobbed at him for this, is nonplussed by the reaction – he told Vulture:

“It’s really something I don’t understand. It’s as if you said there are not enough shots of Shanghai. I don’t understand why there has to be Shanghai in this movie.”

I’m inclined to agree with him. Not only because I found the film sexy as hell, erotic in languorous, voyeuristic ways that movies don’t really approach anymore. Its sense of tactility, for sweat and fabric and skin, and its often-prurient stares – up the legs of swimming trunks, for example - are a welcome shock to the system that makes the forbidden seem commonplace, easy...

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Saturday
Oct212017

Middleburg Day 2: James Ivory & Various Fantastic Women

See Day 1 ICYMI

Friday. Another day in Virginia's horse country, two more fine films, and meeting a lifelong personal idol...

James Ivory speaking at the Salamander Resort in Middleburg, VA

James Ivory Legacy Award
The morning began with a moderated interview with four time Oscar nominee James Ivory. He was in Middleburg to receive this year's "Legacy" award. Speaking of legacy... when will the Academy come around to acknowledging that he's one of the most deserving artists out there for their annual Honorary Oscar pickings?

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Thursday
Sep282017

Middleburg Festival 2017: James Ivory, Dee Rees, Greta Gerwig and More...

by Nathaniel R

Awards season is really heating up now that release dates (or lack thereof) are firming up, and various pre-Oscar honors are being announced. Last year, you may recall, The Film Experience was invited to attend the Middleburg Film Festival and we're invited for a second round next month.

The fest, now in its fifth year and closer to something like Telluride than Toronto or Cannes considering its Oscar focus and brevity, is growing each year and all takes place at one well-heeled resort. Last year they had big events for La La Land and Lion as well as very crowded talks with Cheryl Boone Isaacs on the Academy's diversity efforts as well as a fascinating discussion of US presidents and cinematic depictions with Janet Maslin and David Gergen where the danger of Trump was discussed at length (before the election - sigh). At that event they spent a lot of time on Nixon's disproportionately large place in cinema as presidents go. (Unfortunately since we're in Nixon Round Two only much more vile and, well, stupider... we can safely expect there to be many many films on Trump and Trump's corrosive effect on the nation for decades to come! "Wheeee," he squealed with much sarcasm)

More info about this year's festivities to come but for now we know this...

Special Honorees:
The legendary James Ivory (Call Me By Your Name's screenplay, Howard's End, Maurice, Room With a View etcetera)
Director Dee Rees (Mudbound)
Composer Nicholas Britell (Battle of the Sexes, Moonlight) with an orchestral concert of his work!

 

Opening Night: DARKEST HOUR (Ben Mendelsohn in attendance)
Saturday Centerpiece  LADY BIRD (Greta Gerwig in attendance)
Sunday Centerpiece  THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI 
Other Screenings:  CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, MUDBOUND, and I, TONYA 

 

 

Wednesday
Aug022017

YNMS Quickie: Call Me By Your Name

The first trailer has arrived for Call Me By Your Name. I'm starting the book right now so pardon the brevity of this Yes No Maybe So. I'm sure you'll have more to add in the comments.

yes -Luca Guadagnino makes inarguably sensual movies. James Ivory (who did the screenplay) is an all time favorite. And gay romantic dramas getting the prestige treatment is very welcome.
no - How could it possibly live up to the hype?
maybe so - Will it be too lowkey? This lives or dies by the chemistry between the leads.