Luca Guadagnino Sees Bones And All And Call Me By Your Name As Companion Pieces, Of A Sort

No, the headline does not mean what you think it means. Let's get that clear right away; Luca Guadagnino's upcoming adaptation of the horror romance novel "Bones & All" is its own thing, and it certainly shouldn't be attributed to terrifying real-world allegations for cheap laughs.

Now that that's been taken care of, with the release of "Bones & All" rapidly approaching, it's safe to say that we're not ready to see the tragic love story of Maren (Taylor Russell) and Lee (Timothée Chalamet) unfold on the big screen. After all, /Film's Marshall Shaffer gave it an 8 out of 10 in his review when it premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. With that coupled with the sensual and horrifying footage displayed in the recently-released trailer, consider us excited to see Guadagnino's latest on the big screen.

The director recently spoke to Total Film about this adaptation. When the magazine pointed out the stark differences in style between this film and his 2017 film "Call Me By Your Name," which helped catapult Chalamet to stardom, he offered an intriguing counterpoint.

"'Call Me By Your Name' has been, for me, very much about the transmission of knowledge," theorized Guadagnino. "And in this case, I think it's about the impossibility of the transmission of knowledge within the parameters of such a violent life, and the kind of brutality of the disenfranchised of the Reagan era."

Life's such a treat

So, what exactly does this mean? "Bones & All" takes place during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Those who recall his time as the U.S. President will likely remember a period of economic and societal division, particularly triggered by the White House's blasé and even hateful treatment of the AIDS crisis. Shaffer wrote in his review of "Bones & All" that there are significant themes of queer isolation and separatism in the film, saying that the openly-gay Guadagnino's film carries "consistent [subversions] of gendered expectation, presentation, and attraction."

If this sounds like too deep of a read, just hear what the director himself has to say. He told Total Film that "Bones & All" is less about the cannibalistic acts that Maren and Lee engage in and more about the societal rejection of what they have to do to survive:

"​​It's [about] loneliness, abandonment, being different, looking for companionship, being left behind. Those were the dynamics I was interested in. I am not there to judge or speculate on something. I am there to tell the story of that person."

It goes without saying that harboring the desire to eat human flesh is morally abject. However, as it is explained in Camille DeAngelis' original novel, it is a natural part of all eaters. Being an eater isn't always easy, but sometimes, embracing what rejects you from broader society can be empowering.

"Bones & All" will release in theaters on November 18. The latest issue of Total Film goes on sale on October 13.