By Lindsey Bahr
AP Cinema Screenwriter
VENICE, Italy (AP) — Timothée Chalamet felt cut off from the world at the start of the pandemic. Then Luca Guadagnino, who Chalamet considered a father figure while filming “Call Me By Your Name,” called with a possible new project. It would be another young romance set in the 1980s. But instead of Italy, they would go to the American Midwest. And they would be cannibals.
The film “Bones and All” has its world premiere on Friday evening at the Venice Film Festival, where it is one of the titles in competition. Chalamet and Guadagnino met before the premiere to discuss the film with the cast.
It’s a significant departure for the Italian director from films like ‘A Bigger Splash’ and ‘I Am Love’, marking Guadagnino’s first time directing an American film – something he’s wanted to do for some time. Then his long-time collaborator, screenwriter David Kajganich, offered him an adaptation of Camille DeAngelis’ youth novel and he saw in it the opportunity to make a film about identity and the excluded.
“I was dying to work with Luca again and tell a grounded story,” said Chalamet, who took a break from filming “Dune 2” to appear in Venice. Swarms of fans gathered around the quays of the Excelsior Hotel to catch a glimpse of the star, who even stopped to pose for a few selfies.
In “Bones and All,” Chalamet did more than act: he helped his character Lee transform from an “alpha athlete” to a “broken soul,” which he says was very appealing to him, and earned a production credit for the film. as well.
“Luca is fatherly with me and guided me through this process this time around,” he said. “I can’t say that I helped organize the schedules or anything like that. But it’s something I want to keep doing.
Chalamet’s character plays a supporting role in the film’s lead, Maren, who comes to terms with his unsavory cravings. She’s played by “Waves” actor Taylor Russell, a newcomer to the Guadagnino family of regulars like Michael Stuhlbarg, as the creepy cannibal they encounter on the road, and Chloë Sevigny.
“It’s Taylor’s movie, she does an amazing job wearing it,” Chalamet said.
The discussion about their characters and the loneliness they feel in the world got them thinking about what it means to be young right now.
“I can’t imagine what it’s like growing up with the onslaught of social media,” Chalamet said. “I think it’s hard to be alive now. I think the collapse of society is in the air. It smells good. And without being pretentious, I hope that’s why these films matter, because the role of the artist is to highlight what is happening.
Russell added: “It’s so scary. The hope is that you can find your own compass in all of this.
The film also features a new score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, which Guadagnino challenged to “find the sound of a road trip” and “the sound of the American landscape”. And it’s full of 1980s music from Joy Division, New Order and even KISS, which were picked from a box of cassette tapes Kajganich found when he was a teenager.
“Whoever made me smile or cry did so in the script,” Kajganich said.
“Bones and All” opens in North American theaters November 23.
Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr
For more information on the Venice Film Festival, visit: www.apnews.com/VeniceFilmFestival