James Ivory may have won his first Academy Award for his screenplay for the gay romance “Call Me by Your Name,” but that doesn’t mean he’s entirely happy with director Luca Guadagnino’s finished film.
In a new interview with the Guardian, the veteran filmmaker took issue with Guadagnino’s claims that he never considered showing the film’s young lovers — played by Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer — completely in the buff.
“When Luca says he never thought of putting nudity in, that is totally untrue,” Ivory told the paper. “He sat in this very room where I am sitting now, talking about how he would do it, so when he says that it was a conscious aesthetic decision not to — well, that’s just bulls—.”
As a director of classics like “A Room With a View” and “Howards End,” Ivory said that he himself never shied from putting his actors fully on display in sex scenes.
“When people are wandering around before or after making love, and they’re decorously covered with sheets, it’s always seemed phony to me,” he said, noting his handling of a love scene with actors Rupert Graves and James Wilby in his 1987 movie “Maurice,” based on an E.M. Forster book about young gay lovers.
“The two guys have had sex and they get up and you certainly see everything there is to be seen,” he said. “To me, that’s a more natural way of doing things than to hide them, or to do what Luca did, which is to pan the camera out of the window toward some trees.”
Last month, the 89-year-old Ivory became the oldest ever winner of a competitive Oscar for his adapted screenplay of “Call Me by Your Name.” The film, based on a 2007 novel by Andre Aciman, received three other nominations.
Ivory, whose longtime producing (and personal) partner Ismail Merchant died in 2005, had previously been nominated three times for his work as a director.