Top 5 Films To Watch This Summer
The sun has finally decided to reappear –at least in Bristol- the temperatures are rising and we can now go out without drowning under our massive scarves and hats. In brief, spring has well and truly arrived and we can feel that summer is not very far either! So what about celebrating that whilst enjoying a good moment of cinema? Here is a short selection of 5 films that are for me even more enjoyable in summer than at any other time of the year.
Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (Les Vacances de Mr Hulot, 1953):
Definitely one of the masterpieces of the French director Jacques Tati, the film relates the adventures of the lovable but clumsy monsieur Hulot as he is going on vacation in a coastal holiday town. Tati affectionately makes a mockery of the conformity of society and the classes through his main character –that he plays himself-, who is very gauche and does not miss any occasion to make a blunder, even if he is trying his best to do everything right. Based on comical and burlesque, this absolute classic of French cinema will put you in a good mood for the rest of your day.
Spring Breakers (2012):
Radical change of style here. This very recent film by the American director Harmony Korine depicts the experiences of four girls going on Spring Break in Florida, except that it soon turns into a nightmare. I was quite sceptical before watching it for the first time, but bearing in mind that everything shown is made to ridicule this very American ritual and not sanctify it, it’s a very interesting film that shows well the debauchery and dangers that can be brought to this kind of experience. Special mention to the Director of Photography Benoît Debie, who did a very good job with the framing and use of colours and light (the scene where the girls dance around James Franco who plays the piano at sunset is particularly memorable).
Some Like It Hot (1959):
If you haven’t already seen this one, I don’t know what you are waiting for! Starring the great Marylin Monroe, the plot centres around two male jazz players who enter a girls band in order to save their hides after having been seen witnessing a massacre. They are therefore renamed Josephine and Daphne, and will try everything they can to seduce the beautiful Sugar (Marylin Monroe) without being unmasked by their dressing-up as women. It is hilarious, and the final scene is definitely worth the detour.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008):
My favourite one in this list and one of Woody Allen’s best recent films shot in Europe. Vicky Cristina Barcelona is an ode to the Catalan capital, shown as a wonderful postcard, again with a sublime use of framing and light. With a great cast like Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall, we follow the latter two coming to the city to spend the summer with their relatives. Vicky, the brunette, is very serious about love and relationships and is therefore quite offended when a mysterious Spanish painter offers for them to spend the weekend with him in Oviedo. Cristina, on the contrary, is totally seduced by the idea. Ensue then several games and bonds which lead to the characters discovering themselves and experiencing more. However, all of them will end the adventure with a bitter aftertaste.
The Exchange Student (Les Grandes Vacances, 1967):
The Exchange student is an entertaining French comedy, starring the very famous actor Louis de Funès, very much settled into popular French culture. Charles Bosquier is the director of a strict boarding school, and decides to send his son to England for one month when he learns that he failed his high school degree due to his grade in English. But Philippe had made other plans for his summer and sends one of his classmates to England in his place, to go on a sailing boat trip with his friends. However, after several misunderstandings, the truth will eventually come out…