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Luca Guadagnino’s new show is far from CMBYN

While we’re still waiting for the sequel of “Call Me By Your Name,” director Luca Guadagnino is making his jump to the small screen with another coming-of-age story.

Called “We Are Who We Are,” the series follows Fraser and Caitlin, two teenagers living on an American base in Italy sometime in 2016. They can’t be any more different from each other, but they connect through a shared curiosity and craving for a sense of identity.

Originally supposed to debut at the Cannes Film Festival, it will premiere on HBO instead as an eight-episode series. 

“We Are Who We Are” explores themes of sexuality, friendship and growth, of finding yourself and your identity at an age when you’re still dependent on the people around you.

Many people have been pointing to its similarities with “Call Me By Your Name,” but Guadagnino thinks that kind of comparison “sounds very lazy,” he told Variety

To him, “Call Me By Your Name” is “about the past seen through the prism of a cinematic narrative” while “We Are Who We Are” is “about the bodies and souls of now.”

The “here and now” most likely referring to the contemporary setting and the chilling effects of the 2016 presidential elections in the US.

“The seismic shift throughout America and the world of what it meant that Obama’s presidency was followed by Trump’s presidency and how people did not see it coming, are still being grappled with,” he said.

Guadagnino has been quite hands-on with this project as well: from creating and producing the series to directing all episodes and co-writing with fellow Italian writers Paolo Giordano and Francesca Manier. 

Since “Call Me By Your Name,” the director has got his hands full with its sequel after author André Aciman released the follow-up novel “Find Me.”

“The legacy of the movie and its reception made me feel I should continue walking the path with everybody,” he told Variety. “I’ve come up with a story and hopefully we will be able to put it on the page soon.”

 

Still from the “We Are Who We Are” teaser

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