Bones and All, Guadagnino’s cannibal love moves the Venice festival

On the third day of the 79th edition, the most international Italian director of home cinema will shake the soul, heart and bowels of the spectators of the Venice Film Festival: Luca Guadagnino with Bones and All. First American film for the director of Call me by your name, set totally in the Midwest of the 80s and led by two young actors, Taylor Russell And Timothée Chalamet. Based on the novel of the same name Bones & All (“To the bone”) of Camille De Angeli, the film, as perhaps the title suggests, has already attracted a lot of attention, since it deals with the theme of cannibalism, a characteristic, a condition, a need that unites the two young protagonists of the film and leads them on a journey in search of themselves and a house, both metaphorical and physical.

“Ever since I was a kid I have dreamed of making films on the American landscape and its imagery, from which I have been profoundly influenced and shaped – declares Guadagnino. I think that perhaps in an unconscious way I have always tried to postpone the moment, perhaps because the vastness and complexity of United States of America they deserved the perspective of a slightly more mature person. The occasion arose unexpectedly and familiar with this script. Telling the story of these drifters and these identities in search of a form of possibility from the impossible is something that deeply attracted me and let’s say that all this has been accomplished ». Luca Guadagnino goes beyond the boundaries and limits of the genre. Who looks at these two solitudes without the allure and fascination for creatures different from us, which often accompanies the “monsters” of the cinematographic tradition, primarily zombies, vampires, werewolves. These guys are looking for a way to escape from themselves, to accept themselves or to impose their will on their uncontrollable desire for human flesh.

“Bones and All” it is a love story between two outcasts who have been constantly denied that feeling and who have been told they cannot access it. “The world of love has no place for monsters,” 18-year-old Maren is told (Taylor Russell) from the one person who by blood and choice should love her above all else. The physical and emotional encounter between the two boys and the almost poetic confessions of their cannibal impulses and actions make the film proof that one can mirror oneself in someone else and find one’s counterpart, even as an outcast of society. It is the story of two young people who discover that, for them, there is no place they can call home, so they have to reinvent it. Maren and Lee go in search of their identity in extreme situations, but the questions they pose are universal: «Who am I, what do I want? How can I escape this sense of inevitability that I am dragging along with me? How can I get in tune with someone else? », Guadagnino remarks in the director’s notes.

“Bones and All” vhe travels with the two boys, testifies to their actions, tenderness, weaknesses, shortcomings but never judges. And it is precisely on the subject of the judgment of others that Timothée Chalametmuse of Guadagnino and idolized by the crowds a Venice, he concentrates, speaking of today’s young people: “When one is young, one is often constantly judged. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to be a teenager today, under the shadow of social media. It was a relief to play characters struggling with their internal dilemmas without the ability to go up Reddit, Twitter, Instagram or Tiktok to try to understand who I am. I don’t want to judge those who find their way through social media too, of course, if someone finds an online community in which to integrate, so be it. I just think that it is difficult to live today and that the collapse of society is near. And that’s why I hope this film can count for something, ”she concludes.

To those who ask him how important it is to tell this story in a world that does not accept diversity, Guadagnino meanwhile he replies: “I don’t think society doesn’t accept those who are different, let’s say as a general condition, I think that there is always in each of us the fear of finding the other in his otherness. The journey we take with these two wonders takes us through the possibility of seeing how in the extreme circumstances in which they find themselves, they can find themselves in each other’s gaze ».

While the boys outside the Palazzo del Cinema don’t stop shouting his name, Timothée Chalamet tells the solitude of the last few years that we have all lived and from the top of his experience in Bones and All even as a producer, he confesses what kind of reflection came with the film: “We made the film during the pandemic and this helped us to understand even more what it feels like to be deeply isolated, without a true identity. All of us in that period experienced a profound social isolation, while contact with others is essential to understand who we are. In the film these two people through the mirror of love find the possibility to evolve, to grow. It was a formative experience, which helped us to understand ».

Also Bones and All promises to divide viewers and induce healthy debate. Those expecting a horror or a fantasy will be disappointed. Guadagnino, without cynicism or irony he still speaks of love, to quote the words of the protagonist Taylor Russell – “two unfortunate lovers, two soul mates”. Venice 79 on its third day finally returns to move as it hasn’t done for some time.

Journalist and politician, he was deputy director of Il Giornale. A member of the Italy-USA Foundation, he was a senator in the 14th and 15th legislatures for Forza Italia and a deputy in the 16th for Il Popolo della Libertà.

Bones and All, Guadagnino’s cannibal love moves the Venice festival – Il Riformista