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‘Call Me By Your Name’ Director Luca Guadagnino Says Shooting on Digital is ‘Laziness’ and ‘Ridiculous’

The filmmaker doesn't buy into the "ideology of digital," and he doesn't seem to think you should either.

Luca Guadagnino

Luca Guadagnino

Daniel Bergeron

No need to ask Italian director Luca Guadagnino where he stands on the seemingly ever-raging film versus digital debate again, as the “Call Me By Your Name” helmer has made himself quite clear in a new interview with Screen Daily. Guadagnino, it seems, is an avowed celluloid man, and he’s not too pleased with fellow filmmakers buy into the “ideology of digital” at the expense of their craft.

Even with a relatively slim budget of $3.5 million, the filmmaker still shot his lauded new romance entirely on 35mm celluloid film, and he doesn’t see why other filmmakers wouldn’t opt for the same route. “I think it’s laziness,” he said of shooting on digital. “It’s an ideological lie of the industry to say ‘don’t shoot on film because it’s less expensive to shoot on digital.'”

He added, “They say it’s faster and you need less light, that you just turn the camera on and shoot with a memory card, you don’t have the limitation of the reel…that’s a misunderstanding of what it means to shoot a movie. I think the limitation of the reel is what makes the tension of the performance come off the screen…[Shooting on digital] is about control, about making everything look the same. Cinema doesn’t surrender to sameness.”

Guadagnino is also not pleased with other filmmakers who have made the switch to digital, telling Screen Daily, “I see directors that I love, who have been making films forever on film, surrendering to the ideology of digital – it’s ridiculous, it’s a complete lie, and it makes me furious.”

As he tells it, film is really the only choice, because “film is what cinema is meant to be.”

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