About two weeks ago, I allowed myself the pleasure of watching the film "Call Me By Your Name" again. It is one of those movies where the rhythm of it meets mine and is a comfort. I have lost track of the number of times that I have watched it. I have read the novel twice; and yes, I listened to Armie Hammer read it twice. It has struck a chord.
But why? I have wondered. I made a list in my head of the ways that it captivates me - one, Timothee Chalamet. I hadn't seen anything before, he did before, and I was immediately taken by him. Not in any immoral sense of that attraction, but he showed a vulnerability in his acting, and I can't take my eyes off of it, not him, but it - the vulnerability. Another aspect of the story that I love is in the setting. I've been in small Italian towns with a central church and square in the heat of summer where the sun doesn't set until late in the evening. I've sat at linen covered tables and drank wine from a carafe and ate a meal slowly, one course at a time. I haven't ever ridden a bicycle in that country, but I have ventured out of the town into the environs with its dusky, dry fields that are populated with muted colors and heaven scents. Every time I watch the movie or have heard Armie Hammer read it, I am immediately transported to the places where I've been before. Where I live now, I would love to have an old tree to position a long farmer's table under it to lay a white, linen tablecloth to show the color of the wine as it spills from the glasses of my friends making merry. I can hear the sun move across the horizon and hold on to the wings of fireflies and the call of night trains moving through my own town on distant tracks.
I'm going down a rabbit hole ... let me calibrate. I like the movie because of Timothee Chalamet, Italy, wine, al fresco dining, vulnerability. How does Dolce and Gabbana capture it in their spring editorials? In the film, Elio's father studies statuary. He and Oliver look at slides of marble statues, mainly men, and exclaim at the beauty of them. The trip to the sea to watch lost works being pulled from the depths has our lovers coming back to each other. The sight of beauty, even in its ancient, marbleized state expresses the very vulnerability of the art and the boys that is most compelling. Beauty had life as it molded, but then froze to stay in a perfect state of love, if that can be said of a piece of art. The dress thrown on to this beauty brings new life to the ancient. And feelings, or love, capturing beauty is an ancient art. Bellisimo.
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