The show the military couldn’t stop: Luca Guadagnino on We Are Who We Are

The show the military couldn’t stop: Luca Guadagnino on We Are Who We Are

November 10, 2020

His new TV series about wild goings-on at an army base near Venice horrified the US Department of Defense. Did it also cost him his relationship? The Call Me By Your Name director reveals all

Lockdown was a nightmare for Luca Guadagnino. His dad died, his partner left and his myriad film projects had to be put in mothballs. As soon as restrictions were lifted, he jumped in his car and drove south from Milan, along empty motorways, right through the May night. He realises now he was in search of home.

Guadagnino, true to form, immortalised the trip on his iPhone and the resulting film is a lovely thing: part travelogue, part elegy, rattling around the director’s old village in Sicily. At one point Guadagnino stands outside his former house and inhales the smells from the open window – humidity, old grapes – like Proust with his madeleine. He wonders what kind of world the pandemic has left behind. He asks friends and colleagues for advice and support. “For a forest to stay healthy,” one tells him, “it has to periodically burn down.”

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