The Call Me By Your Name bandwagon is well and truly still on its way (with the exception of Armie Hammer left behind), and this time, we get to experience quite the treat of a collaboration in the form of a Luca Guadagnino directed Sufjan Stevens music video entitled, Tell Me You Love Me from Stevens’ 2020 record The Ascension.
Arguably, one of the main reasons CMBYN felt so emotionally eviscerating was because of the score. One Stevens' helped to create with Mystery of Love, which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2018 and a Grammy in 2019, and of course, Visions of Gideon. The heart-wrenching musical accompaniment to the closing scene of the film, where Elio stares at the fireplace weeping for a solid 4-minutes. Guadagnino's use of the entire score, letting music rise to the surface, enriched the film in a way that was unexpectedly visceral, something Stevens clearly took note of to ask him to collaborate once again.
Initially, however, Stevens was hesitant to take part in the score for CMBYN, telling Variety, “I have to say, I don’t usually like directors, and I find them really controlling,” Thankfully for us, once he accepted the project. his mind was swiftly changed. “There’s a physicality to his work that’s really profound, and there’s an emotional experience that’s occurring as well, and they have this divine interaction. So that’s really what I was working on, this idea of first love being really irrational and sensational, and feeling boundless in its experience.” He said.
Now, Tell Me You Love Me is visually realised as Guadagnino creates an on-screen narrative of contorting, stretching figures with the help of Alessio Bolzoni, the photographer known for creating the stills imbued with movement for many of Guadagnino’s movies. The figures are intercepted with what is reminiscent of twinkling lights, colourful artworks, and clips of nature.
Watch, and listen to the full Tell Me You Love Me clip, below.