At the Zurich Film Festival, where he was honored with the “A Tribute To…” statuette, Luca Guadagnino was inevitably asked about Armie Hammer.
We’ve been developing ‘Bones and All‘ since the book came out, and David Kajganich and Theresa Park, the writer and one of our producers, have been at it from the start. When questioned about the latest “cannibal” incident during his masterclass, he said, “Many years ago, maybe around the time when we were filming ‘Call Me by Your Name.
My fantastic colleague, Antonio Campos, was supposed to helm it, but he passed. At that moment, I was handed the script. This kind of insinuation and nonsense has no place here.
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After being honored at Venice and Göteborg just this year, Luca Guadagnino’s Zurich prize is the latest in a long line of accolades for the director.
After the big 5-0, I began to receive honorary honors. “They’ve presented it to me previously, but I always found it weird to be recognized for something I was still doing,” he said.
When asked about my personality, they would say, “I am realistic. It’s nice to be acknowledged for your efforts, and awards are a fun way to do it. But I try not to watch them. I have all of them stored away in my closet.
The Italian filmmaker discussed his early life in Ethiopia and his subsequent move to Sicily, saying that his “feeling of space and light” was shaped by his time in Ethiopia. However, he eventually made peace with the latter.
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I was about 22 years old when I left. It seemed like I had no way out of the situation. The fact that I’ve never had an accent has always made people wary of me. Having read this, I feel a solid connection to it.
The film starring Timothée Chalamet is his first time working in America, but that doesn’t stop him.
The imagery the United States creates about itself has a lot to do with the impression it wants to present to the globe. This vision has been marketed to us like crack. As far as possible, I made an effort to replicate the work of the great foreign filmmakers of the 1930s and 1940s by traveling to the region in question. They got very into it.
Luca Guadagnino: He was aiming to put himself in the shoes of his protagonists, two young cannibals on the run from their own kind.
It’s my understanding that Lee is the first human that Taylor Russell’s Maren (and the audience) meets when they go to Indiana. The immensity of the American countryside surrounds her and she detects the presence of something potent—another eater. (…) In Nebraska, Lee is able to release all of his pent-up anguish. It’s the film’s most shocking and horrifying scene, but also it’s most heartfelt and beautiful.
Luca Guadagnino: He said that he wasn’t very fascinated by his heroes’ nefarious desires.
That’s something we’ve never discussed.
When it came to cannibalism, we treated it like any other problem. Several forensic doctors explained, for instance, how to properly execute a bite on a recently deceased corpse. We gained real-world knowledge. Forcing one’s teeth through thick skin requires considerable effort. Someone questioned whether or not we’d need [more developed] jaw muscles, because Americans are already rather brash. It’s a result of gum chewing.
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Luca Guadagnino went on to gush over his actors, calling Mark Rylance “amazing.”
It’s a wonderful thing to see when performers let down their guard and give themselves completely to the role. It’s a silver lining to the somewhat unpleasant experience of filming movies. Quentin Tarantino informed me when we were serving on a jury together, Choosing the actors is the real act of creativity.”
Luca Guadagnino: He thinks that searching for the chemistry between actors is “American idiocy,” and he thus doesn’t believe in doing so.
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It’s just absurd. When it comes to chemistry between performers and directors, the only place it can happen is in the director’s head.
Luca Guadagnino teased his forthcoming tennis film Challengers and his now over three-hour long “An Even Bigger Splash,” both of which made him question whether or not his characters are always motivated by passion rather than rationality.
Alexander Payne’s Election” is a good movie. “[Tracy Flick] is very determined and she knows exactly what she wants, which is great, but I’m not sure I could create a movie with her or be with a character like that,” he remarked.
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Luca Guadagnino: He adds that he finds editing enjoyable, especially when working with Walter Fasano and “wunderkind” Marco Costa, but that filming is exhausting.
He’s really youthful and hilarious, and he’s the kind of guy you can call at 2 o’clock in the morning and say, “I need you now.” And now he’s here. I admire your devotion—the movie, not to me.