Thursday, February 26, 2015

"A Summer's Tale": from a quartet of "seasons" romantic films: a young Frenchman has all the possible choices in the world in front of him; most of us don't

A Summer’s Tale” (“Conte d’ete”) is the third of a quartet of romantic French films by Eric Rohmer based on the four seasons (without Vivaldi).
The 1996 film had a belated theatrical release from Big World Pictures (site ) in 2014, and played at the West End Cinema in Washington DC.  Curiously, it is shot in the old 1.37:1 aspect ratio (like “The Artist”), in garish colors, seemingly according to the dogme technique. 
Gaspard (Melvil Poupard) is a shy young man, having an advanced degree in mathematics, but preferring to make as much of his song-writing (on the guitar) as possible.  The backgrounds in the film mention at least two Debussy works (“Clair de Lune” and “La Mer”) but his music is more that of a simple country singer.  He often whistles this little waltz theme that he has composed.
He awaits the arrival of a girl friend Lena (Aurekia Nolin) on the Brittany coast. But over the summer two other young women cross his path: Margot (Amanda Langlet) and Solene (Gwenaelle Simon). He has a lot of choices to make.  At the end of the film, what kind of career he will choose seems up in the air.
Gaspard is also eye-popping in his Adonis-like beauty, or shall we say he is pretty, if straight.  Why did it take 18 years for this film to come to the US?   I watched it on a Netflix DVD.  This is a gentled film. 
Wikipedia attribution link for picture of Dinard, France beach, taken by Diliff, licensed under Create Commons 3.0 Share-Alike license.  It looks a lot like the famous circle beach in San Sebastian, Spain, which I visited in May 2001.  I was not too far from Brittany (in Bayeux and Caen), in 1999. 
Note also, Wikipedia has an article describing the history of the mainstream acceptance of the bikini, here.

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