Saturday, January 27, 2018

Movie Review - "Call Me By Your Name"

Call Me By Your Name (I still find the premise of the title a bit contrived)
A story of same sex attraction and dynamics between Elio, a very intelligent 17 year old and Oliver, a nearly 30? year old doctoral student who comes to Italy for a summer internship with Elio's father and lives in their Italian villa. Elio is infatuated with Oliver and wonders if Oliver even likes him. They occasionally spar intellectually and eventually share some romantic moments until Oliver must return to  the States.

Directed by Luca Guadagnino; Screenplay by James Ivory; based on the book by André Aciman; starring Armie Hammer, Timothée Chalamet, Michael Stuhlbarg

I have reviewed the book by Andre Aciman here. (It was not a stellar review as I found the book full of ennui and very tedious despite the rave reviews of others.)

Suffice it to say that there were changes in the location, minor changes in character and action and the elimination of Elio's obsessive self-reflection. All of which, in my opinion, improved, rather than detracted from the story.

I will not go into critiquing the actors and the screenplay and the filming and editing all of which were very good and/or well done.

But just from a subjective point of view, I enjoyed the movie so much more than the book. It seemed more realistic, more sensual, more romantic, and so much less cerebral, especially on Elio's part, than the book.

I was somewhat disappointed that the setting was in northern Italy and not along the seacoast near Naples. But the setting did work well and while in many respects very beautiful, it was not unrealistically idyllic. The setting and scenery did not upstage the story or characters.

One might find the switching between languages (English, Italian and some dialectical French with a bit of German) a bit distracting with the subtitles, but it works to convey the very natural European way of life and of interacting with others.

Both Elio and Oliver were so much more likeable in the film, whereas in the book I found Elio's incessant self-relection and rumination to be annoying, tedious and masturbatory. In the book I thought Oliver was distant, arrogant and mean toward Elio much of the time.

Here the main characters seem more real, more natural. Elio, while precocious, was not obnoxiously so. He was simpatico, and his confusion was so very adolescent. Oliver's and Elio's relationship develops more realistically and, for the gay audience I think, more satisfactorily. The actors are well cast and suited to their roles. I liked Elio's father, who was not a major character but had some great scenes.

Also, some interesting music throughout.

Bottom line: A nice movie to escape the craziness of the evening news and the real world, if you know what I mean. Recommended.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Refusing To Provide Medical Care Based On Religion Is Unacceptable

This is a very strong statement by a gay pediatrician against the new Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom in the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The government under the current administration, rather than protecting the rights of all to non-judgemental health care, is cow-towing to the fringe element of the religious right who blindly support him despite his very questionable ethics.

Read the article here.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Cory Booker passionate speech during Senate hearing

Dr. Matilda Krim,AIDS Activist and AMFAR Founder, Has Died

AIDS researcher and activist Dr. Matilda Krim dies at 91.

So many young people probably never heard of Dr. Matilda Krim, but her name was a gay household word back in the 80's, especially among those of us who were intimately involved in the AIDS arena and/or public health. She championed science over judgement, compassion over discrimination and activism over status quo.


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