OscarGuy wrote:In the 1980s, especially in the United States, finding gay relationships was an incredible challenge, especially if you did not live in a major metropolitan area. People were still being beaten and killed for being gay, especially in rural areas. And in Europe, where the climate was slightly more accepting, but nowhere near as open as it would be today, finding a kindred soul would be a surprising development. I think in that respect, Call Me by Your Name would not have the same tone or edge of tension that it would set today.
First of all, youngsters are exposed to and open to others who are like them. It's no longer a dangerous challenge to seek out someone who is also gay. Thereby, I don't think someone of Elio's age would be as concerned about being true to himself, especially growing up in any kind of Academic environment like the one his father works in. Oliver, also being part of Academia, would also be exposed to plenty of opportunities for exploration and commitment and finding a kindred spirit would be far less likely. He would not feel the need to explore himself in the same way Oliver does in this film nor would Elio. They would be wholly different experiences in a film set today than they would in a film set in the early 1980s as this one is.
Call Me By Your Name may not be perfect, but I can tell you that the way it portrays the emotional condition of falling in love with another guy in the early 80s is very correct.
There's one aspect which I must point out though. Back then, at least in Europe, finding a "kindred soul" was already a possibility, especially in big cities, and it COULD happen. And when it happened, it usually lasted for long - longer than it would today. Because - simply - you didn't have the alternatives you'd have today, when technology seems to give us plenty of opportunities, and you feel that there's always "someone better" waiting for us just a click away. It is, of course, an illusion - but contemporary gay (and straight) life often likes to believe it.
So when I was 18 - one year older than Elio in the movie, and only a few years later than 1983 - and I had moved to Rome to study Screenwriting at the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, I met and fell in love with a boy of my same age. And we were together for more than 10 years. Without, let's say, alternative distractions. The passion, the feeling of having found something unique, exceptional and irreplaceable, of being the luckiest person in the world, of having such a rare opportunity that I should never give up... Well, I know for sure that it would have been different if it had happened today.