Call Me by Your Name

Call Me by Your Name ★★★★½

Hey, didn't rewatch this movie, but, I kinda just wanted to have a general discussion about something I've seen on Letterboxd.

If you guys haven't seen, there's literally been (like one or two worthless counts) saying that Letterboxd shouldn't be so emotion driven and should only be analysis on the movie.

I usually don't chime in on stuff like this that happens on the website, but, I kinda wanted to discuss how wrong this is.

Movies are an art. They are an expressive artform. To quote the legendary film critic himself Roger Ebert, "movies are a machine that generate empathy." Movies are a look into characters, and worlds and themes and at their best, they can make us question the world around us and give us different viewpoints into different heads.

Don't get me wrong, if you wanna just discuss what makes a movie good or bad, no one is stopping you. That being said, if you don't have an emotional connection to something, then aren't you wasting your time?

If all you can get out of a movie is, "well it has this nitpick in it so it sucks," and not get everything else the movie was going for, why even go to movies in the first place? Why see movies if all you will do is say, "well that looks pretty, that actor was good, not enough water, 7/10." How boring and monotonous is that?

This is my main problem with current film criticism, it feels like critics can sometimes feel like they are above everyone else, commenting on how the movie works and doesn't, like they are the voice for everybody. Film is subjective. I'm sure someone out there believes Doogal is the greatest film ever made and has a convincing argument about it- I'm almost positive.

Rather it be one of my favorite movies or books or songs, it usually gives me a sense of euphoria. Someone actually commented on one of my reviews once, "I feel like every 5/5 movie you give has profoundly moved and changed you in some way that you have to write about," and you're right.

A 5/5 is a film for me that isn't maybe flawless but one that shook me and inspired me to do more with my life. This would explain why the 2011 Muppet I gave a 5/5 and The Godfather I gave a 4.5/5. Is The Godfather a better movie? Yeah of course. I loved The Godfather, but, it didn't inspire me or put me in a trance like seeing childhood heroes on the big screen in a new Theatre that opened up and seeing the biggest screen I had ever seen at the time. It's hard for a movie to actually do that-

Film is subjective, and I feel like reviews should be reflective of how you feel. If you wanna have a simple sentence, maybe a gut punch to explain brief thoughts of your thought on the movie- that totally works. A lot of the people on this site just do that, and then have a larger conversation with people through DMs or comments, and that's fantastic.

I tend to try to write longer reviews maybe briefly explaining what does and doesn't work about the actual film at hand but then explain what the film means culturally in my opinion, or if it touched me in anyway how it did. I'm not saying this is how it should be for everyone. I just do this simply, because I see so many movies and spend so many hours searching and seeking new art to better help me connect with the world I'm so confused in. Writing about it helps my search go better along and helps me realize what I like and don't like about films, and what they have taught me. When I write my reviews, I feel like I'm being more productive, like this is a job for me to figure out how films resonate with me.

That being said, you write the way you want to write. I don't look down upon anyone here. If you wanna examine the filmmaking qualities of every movie, that's great! If you wanna write about stories and how films personally connect to you, awesome! If you wanna do short sentences that are kinda witty but get the point across, heck yeah you go do that! The fact that some people would judge one of these methods just because it's not their preferred style of writing is wrong.

There's such a thing as constructive criticism and then there's just being a douche kanoe.

Like Paddington said, "Be polite and kind and the world will be right!" So keep writing however the crap you wanna write Letterboxd, stay golden!

Brett Schutt liked these reviews