Song of the Day #3,573: ‘Visions of Gideon’ – Sufjan Stevens

Three and a half months into 2018, I’m still catching up on the 2017 films I missed in theaters. This week I’ll write about a few of them.

By the time I got around to Call Me By Your Name, I had heard so much about it that it was impossible for me to have anything close to a pure experience. I’d read fawning reviews and brutal takedowns. My daughter loves it while my nephew hates it. I read about the father’s closing scene so often that I relented and watched it on YouTube long before I watched the rest of the film.

Now that I’ve actually watched the movie I’d heard so much about, I can report that it is… fine. It didn’t devastate me in the way it has devastated so many. But it didn’t bore me either. For a two-plus hour film in which very little happens, it moves along surprisingly well. The scenery is gorgeous, the performances are excellent across the board.

I didn’t buy the affair between Timothee Chalamet’s Elio and Armie Hammer’s Oliver as some great romance, but I don’t think we’re supposed to. It’s a summer fling that means far more to the teenaged Elio because that’s how teenagers respond to romance. Michael Stuhlbarg, as the dad every gay kid should have, drives home the film’s theme in his much-lauded climactic speech.

Here’s an excerpt: “We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of 30 and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything — what a waste!”

It’s a beautiful moment, easily the best in the film. But it didn’t floor me, maybe because of all of the build-up or maybe because this just isn’t that film for me, even though I see how it can be for so many others.

[Verse 1]
I have loved you for the last time
Is it a video? Is it a video?
I have touched you for the last time
Is it a video? Is it a video?

[Chorus]
For the love, for laughter, I flew up to your arms
Is it a video? Is it a video?
For the love, for laughter, I flew up to your arms
Is it a video? Is it a video?
Is it a video?

[Verse 2]
I have loved you for the last time
Visions of Gideon, visions of Gideon
And I have kissed you for the last time
Visions of Gideon, visions of Gideon

[Chorus]
For the love, for laughter, I flew up to your arms
Is it a video? (Is it a video?) Is it a video? (Is it a video?)
For the love, for laughter, I flew up to your arms
Is it a video? (Is it a video?) Is it a video? (Is it a video?)
For the love, for laughter, I flew up to your arms
Visions of Gideon, (visions of Gideon), visions of Gideon, (visions of Gideon)
For the love, for laughter, I flew up to your arms
Visions of Gideon, (visions of Gideon), visions of Gideon, (visions of Gideon), Visions of Gideon

[Outro]
Visions of Gideon, visions of Gideon, visions of Gideon
Visions of Gideon, visions of Gideon, visions of Gideon
Visions of Gideon, (Is it a video?), visions of Gideon, (Is it a video?), visions of Gideon
Visions of Gideon, (Is it a video?), visions of Gideon, (Is it a video?), visions of Gideon
(Is it a video?) (Is it a video?) (Is it a video?)

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,573: ‘Visions of Gideon’ – Sufjan Stevens

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I haven’t seen the film, but, from the feedback I have received from those in my family who have, it’s probably not one I would have liked. Probably the only thing really peaking my interest would be seeing Italy, but I don’t think that would sustain my interest for over two hours.

  2. Peg Clifton says:

    I didn’t see it either but would probably watch it at some point when it’s streaming on tv. I recently saw Lady Bird that way and was happy I did. Did not know that Timothy Chalamet had a role in that one too.

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