Everyone has that summer holiday you’ll never forget. You’re probably picturing it now – the thick warmth of the sun, the briny air filled with salt and sea and possibilities. That sense of nostalgia in the moment, the recognition that you’ll remember this for years to come even as you’re experiencing it.
There’s something liminal about summer. The heat, the humidity, the relaxation – it’s almost embryonic, as the membrane between us and our environment gently dissolves amidst a pure sense of peace. Although, perhaps a better word than liminal is orgasmic. Even before we’ve come of age, there’s a sensuality to summer: the stickiness, the saltiness, the precipice of utter release.
It’s that feeling that Call Me By Your Name captures; the sexuality of summer, the feeling of treasuring a perfect moment even as it slips away. You can synopsise the film in one sentence: in the ’80s, 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) falls for Oliver (Armie Hammer), a visiting guest of his father in the beautiful surrounds of Northern Italy. But in the hands of director Luca Guadagnino, this is less a love story than a cinema of sensation: the tenderness of touch, the sheen of sweat, the cool calm of water.