author: annie trussler | op-ed editor
Nabokov (correct me if I’m wrong) wrote [Lolita] as a warning to women, young and old: men are fucking creepy.
Call me by Your Name is shit. I can say this as an active, little too loud gay person – this film is not the representation we want, even if cinema bluffs claim we do. First of all, apparently the director thinks movies don’t need narratives to succeed, and that’s bullshit. Any movie devoid of plot is a snore fest. Secondly, pedophilia is not inherently queer, and we don’t want that shit in our domain.
Armie Hammer, once dreamboat, plays a twenty to thirty-something that seduces painfully average Timothie Chalamet, who plays a chipper seventeen-year-old. Big yikes, right? Armie Hammer defends this choice in an interview by stating, “I consider seventeen an adult.”
Now, I have chosen to understand this narrative the same way I understand Lolita – while Nabokov wrote his masterpiece with the understanding that HH is a piece of shit, we must adopt rose-colored glasses from time to time. Oliver is a symbol for all men that grow into predators. Men are socialized that, for some reason, they have inherited the earth. They can hurt anyone weaker than them, and they can do this by any means necessary.
Oliver is a pedophile.
Lolita’s narrative is similar: HH, a creepy-ass professor guy, falls in love with his landlord’s twelve-year-old daughter. Twelve years old. He then proceeds to stalk, assault, kidnap, and drive her cross-country, all the while calling her the fire of his loins – yeah, sorry, that quote is from Lolita. Nabokov (correct me if I’m wrong) wrote this as a warning to women, young and old: men are fucking creepy.
Now, with the Oscars coming up, a fresh onslaught of problematic things will be flooding our timelines. We always expect these few weeks of drama, but pretend to be surprised, regardless. This year, I want there to be controversy about Call me by Your Name.
I know André Achiman did not write CMBYN as a satire, and even if he did, the general gay masses are gobbling his bullshit up like brunch. What we are seeing is normalization of young, gay men seeking older men to feel valuable.
Throughout my life, I have known far too many underage, gay men to purposefully seek out men far beyond their age group simply because it was expected. These people are children. There is nothing woke or statement-making about this movie – unless the statement is, “pedophiles are gross.”
Let me get a little serious for a moment – queer people expect to be preyed upon. My friends have been, and I certainly know I have been. When an older, queer person gives you attention, you reciprocate, because you are told you won’t find anyone else.
Newsflash: you will. Cute people will show up, they’ll dig you, and you’ll find happiness. Maybe you’ll find that happiness alone, or with friends, or with a lover, or with many, but you don’t have to traumatize yourself for the sake of social image.
Frankly, I am a little bit weak for pretentious art movies. Movies like It Follows get me merely because the interior décor is the bomb (plus it has a plot). This shitty flick is a pedophilic art nightmare with weak dialogue and nightmarish romance scenes.
Are we stanning a creep-fest piece of cinema like CMBYN when masterpieces like Moonlight exist? Queer love is pure, it is safe, it is warm – while this is not true for all cases, we deserve representation of the majority. Gay love is often very real. Sorry, straight people, no shade – but if you don’t feel the spark, get out.
My point here is this: we can do better, Hollywood. Lord, Hollywood could do so, so many things better, but we have to do this better, as well. Do not let this shit slide by under the guide of progress.
In light of recent events, my thoughts wander to the Pulse shooting. This shooting, as most of us know, claimed the lives of over fifty people – fifty people united by being just like me. I remember swearing in front of my grandmother because the news so shook me. People died because they were like me and proud.
Queer people have suffered, endured, broken their backs, and walked upright again. For once, we deserve a few films that don’t depict us as lecherous, pedophilic monsters that must be killed, regardless of storyline.
Gay love is watching Maury all day on a Friday when you could be doing anything else.
When an older person hurt me, I fully believed that I would never in my life find anyone else, so I never spoke out. Elio Perlman, even though you’re fictional, I’m sorry Oliver manipulated and abused you. You deserved better.
For real, check out I, Tonya, or that weird fish movie. Especially see Get Out. Plus Ladybird, I heard that one was good. Pedophiles bad! Get Out good!