Call Me By Your Name screenwriter James Ivory has said he was disappointed by director Luca Guadagnino’s decision to not show full-frontal male nudity in the film.
The 89-year-old told the Guardian that his script included main characters Elio and Oliver being shown naked during the movie’s intimate scenes.
Ivory called Guadagnino’s claims that he never considered putting nudity in the film “totally untrue.”
“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 bullshit,” he said.
Earlier this month, Ivory won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Call Me By Your Name, one of four Oscar nominations the film received.
The screenwriter had previously told Variety that lead actors Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer had contracts that ruled out any full-frontal nudity, which Ivory said at the time was “a pity” and an “American attitude.”
“When people are wandering around before or after making love, and they’re decorously covered with sheets, it’s always seemed phony to me,” Ivory said.
“I never liked doing that. And I don’t do it, as you know.”
He referenced his 1987 film Maurice, which involved a gay love scene with nudity.
“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.”
But director Luca Guadagnino told IndieWire last October, “To put our gaze upon their lovemaking would have been a sort of unkind intrusion.”
“I think that their love is in all things, so when we gaze towards the window and we see the trees, there is a sense of witnessing that.
“I refuse with strong firmness that I was coy in not showing that, because I think that Oliver and Elio and Armie and Timothée, the four of them displayed a very strong intimacy and closeness in so many ways and it was enough.”
He added to The Independent, “I am the least prudish director you can meet… I’ve been very precise in using the female and male body on screen to convey all kind of emotions.
“I thought that the display of nudity in this specific movie was absolutely irrelevant, and I understand that for James it would have been relevant, but that is his vision, what is clear is that we had no limitations on what we wanted to do.”