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Call Me by Your Name

2017 | 132 min | K-12 | drama

In 1980s Italy, a relationship begins between seventeen-year-old teenage Elio and the older adult man hired as his father’s research assistant.

Before the movie

The movie deals with a young boy’s sexual awakening and his relationship with a man seven years his senior. It may be a good idea to discuss this topic before watching the movie.

After watching the movie, the following questions can be discussed:

  1. The movie is a coming-of-age story. Change is an essential part of a coming-of-age story. Consider the beginning and end of the movie. What was different at the beginning and end of the movie? How had Elio changed?
  2. In 1975, film theorist Laura Mulvey introduced the term “gaze.” Gaze refers to how, in movies, women are often characters who are the object of the camera’s gaze. In Call Me By Your Name, Oliver is the object of the gaze. In addition, Elio and Oliver’s attraction is depicted through their gaze at each other. Recall the different scenes in the movie where the camera takes us to look at Oliver or follow Elio and Oliver’s gaze towards each other. What kind of atmosphere did they create in the movie?
  3. Look up information about Laura Mulvey’s theory related to the male gaze in movies. Consider this theory and what thoughts it evokes in you.
  4. Summer is a significant part of the movie. How would the movie change if its events took place in winter, for example? How does the change of season relate to the movie’s story? What kind of summer was it in the movie?
  5. Judaism appears in the movie in different ways. What were the characteristics of Judaism in the movie? How did Jewish identity appear in the movie?
  6. Elio gave Mariza Antonia Pozzi’s book of poems. Look up information about the poet and her poems.
  7. How did Elio’s family appear in the movie? What scenes of the family stuck with you

After watching the movie, you can also do the following tasks:

  1. The time and world of the movie

    Even a fictional movie gives an idea of the time and world it is set in. The movie is set in 1983. How did this time appear in the movie? Did you notice any differences from today? Find information about the 1980s and compare it to today.

  2. The location of the movie in Northern Italy

    Would the movie be different if it were set elsewhere, such as in a city? How? Design a similar movie in a different environment.

  3. The continuation of the movie’s story

    Call Me By Your Name is a coming-of-age story of young Elio. Write a continuation of the movie’s story about Elio’s life five years later when he is 22 years old.

  4. Life advice

    Elio’s father tells him in the movie: “If you numb your feelings within yourself… so that you won’t feel anything… what a waste.” Consider this line. What thoughts does it evoke in you? Write a similar life advice.?

Summary:

The movie Call Me By Your Name is best suited for high school students and possibly 9th graders, as it contains a young boy’s sexual awakening and occasionally erotic tension. This may be confusing for younger viewers. Overall, the movie is a beautiful portrayal of first love and sexual awakening over one summer. In an educational setting, it is worth noting the theme of the young protagonist’s infatuation with a man seven years his senior. This theme has sparked discussions about age differences in sexual relationships related to the movie’s content.

The movie belongs to the coming-of-age category. Change is an essential theme in these movies. Usually, the protagonist experiences a change as the movie approaches its end. Such coming-of-age stories have been a popular theme in movies since the 1950s, when adolescence began to be recognized as a developmental stage. Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean in 1955, is one of the first coming-of-age movies. Through coming-of-age movies from different decades, viewers can avoid the changes in our world. By comparing them, we can see the themes that unite and separate different times and how youth has been portrayed in movies.

Material author: Elina Vitkala / Mediametka

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About the movie

Subjects

  • arts
  • ethics
  • finnish
  • history
  • italy
  • philosophy
  • social studies

Keywords

  • educational materials
  • everyday
  • family circumstances
  • first love
  • growth story
  • Italy
  • learning materials
  • reading skills of movie
  • relationships
  • sexuality

Educational levels

  • high schools and vocational schools

Genres

  • drama

Playlists

  • based on a book
  • love story
  • rainbow

Age limits

  • K-12

Studios

  • Sony Pictures