One of the most talked about films this year, the Oscar-nominated gay love story Call Me By Your Name, will premier at art house cinema Bíó Paradís in Reykjavík, tonight, Friday January 26th.
Hrönn Sveinsdóttir, managing director of Bíó Paradís, is positively gushing about the film, which she says is one of the most beautiful films she has seen.
“Call Me By Your Name is a love story, a coming of age story, a coming out story and a period film rolled into one,” says Hrönn. “It’s been getting a lot of critical acclaim and now it has been nominated for an Oscar as best film. The rumour mill says it has no chance of winning because Moonlight, a gay film, won last year. But Call Me By Your Name is not specifically a gay film. It’s much more than that.”
The storyline of Call Me By Your Name runs as follows: In Northern Italy in 1983, seventeen year-old Elio begins a relationship with visiting Oliver, his father’s research assistant, with whom he bonds over his emerging sexuality, their Jewish heritage, and the beguiling Italian landscape.
“… just about everything about this film is outstanding. It’s definitely one of the best films from 2017. No doubt about that.”
The film is based on a novel by André Aciman, James Ivory wrote the screenplay, the director is Luca Guadagnino, and the head of cinematography is Sayombhu Mukdeeprom. The lead actors, Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet have both been getting rave reviews for their performances and were both nominated for Golden Globes. Timothée Chalamet has also been nominated as Best actor at the Oscars and the film has received several Oscar nominations. Oh, and not to forget the musical score is by Sufjan Stevens, including a few new songs, which Hrönn says are incredible.
“Everything about this film is just so beautiful,” she gushes. “The cinematography is outstanding, it’s like a series of really really beautiful vintage postcards from Italy. The music is great and the story, and the acting, and just about everything about this film is outstanding. It’s definitely one of the best films from 2017. No doubt about that.”
Call Me By Your Name has been criticised by some for not having a political queer agenda but Hrönn is adamant that it’s a good thing to tell a gay love story without any gloom or sorrow.
“Absolutely,” she says. “It’s just a regular love story and the main characters being of the same-sex is not that big an issue. I find it refreshing. Isn’t it about time to treat queer love the same way as any other love? It is more mainstream than most other films with a queer theme and I think it has helped it get to a much broader audience, which is a good thing as this is surely a film that everyone should see.”
Bíó Paradís has been doing a splendid job of showing queer themed films in the last years. Is that one of the cinema’s agendas?
“We are dedicated to showing good films that would not otherwise be shown in Iceland,” says Hrönn. “It’s not our agenda, per se, to screen queer themed films. But if they are good and meet our standards then we are very pleased to be able to show them to Icelandic audience who would not be able to see them elsewhere. As with every other film we screen the quality of the film is highest on our list and I can safely say that Call Me By Your Name meets all our qualifications. I would really urge people not to miss this gem.”