Today in queer cinema: ‘Call Me By Your Name’ and ‘In A Heartbeat’ dazzle

Earlier in the year, and after a now notorious slip, Moonlight walked away with the coveted Best Picture Oscar, making it both the first LGBT movie and the first indie movie to win Oscar gold in the category – a historic win. 2015’s Carol and The Danish Girl were the only other the LGBT-themed movies to have scored more than a few Oscar nods in recent memory, and that was only a year prior.

While the move towards streamlining queer cinema is long overdue, its rise remains a problematic one, what with the  continuous casting of cisgendered, straight-identifying actors and actresses in queer roles (see: most modern mainstream LGBT films thus far). Although the situation isn’t prime, the fact that these movies are starting to get widespread attention (and distribution) definitely has its perks.

The past two days have seen the effect of this emergence manifest (in part) in the animated short In a Heartbeat and the newly-released trailer for Call Me By Your Name.

In a Heartbeat, a Ringling College of Art and Design production, spearheaded by Beth David and Esteban Bravo and scored by Arturo Cardelús, is an adorable tale of young love that has gone viral online with almost 7 million Youtube hits in just over two days. A closeted boy peers over a tree branch at his crush, who walks by nonchalantly tossing an apple in the air in one hand and holding a book in his other. Unable to contain his infatuation with his crush, the boy hides, only to be surprised by his heart jumping out of his chest to chase the crush. The filmmakers manage to bottle the story into four short minutes and provide a roller coaster of emotions that has the internet obsessed.

Coming back to feature films, Luca Guadadnino’s highly-anticipated, indie, gay romance got the trailer treatment this morning to the delight of the director’s fans (and cinephiles at large). A tale of burgeoning sexuality and heartache (supported by what is promised to be a wonderful score), Call Me By Your Name might just become the modern-day Lolita of queer cinema. 17 year-old Elio Perlman finds himself developing feelings for a doctoral student, Oliver, who comes to work under Elio’s father’s guidance. Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamat star.

The film is Guadagnino’s most serious effort yet and is expected to win over audiences come its November release. And if the trailer is any indication – and I’m calling it now – Call Me By Your Name might just be the movie of the year.

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