A Burning Hot Summer
Tuesday, Jul 17, 2012 7:00 PM CDT
Facets Cinematheque, Chicago, IL
"A Burning Hot Summer wisely knows when and how to surgically slice directly to the bone. It's a bad romance of the highest order"
The stormy relationship between a painter and an Italian film actress is seen through the eyes of another young couple in Philippe Garrel's latest exploration of twisted emotional ties. Frédéric (Louis Garrel, the director's son) is an artist who is married to Angèle (Monica Bellucci), a successful actress. Frederic strikes up a close friendship with Paul (Jérôme Robart), an aspiring actor and self-professed revolutionary who ekes out a living as a film extra. When a film project takes Angèle to Italy, she and Frédéric invite Paul to join them, and he brings along his new girlfriend, a fellow bit player named Elisabeth (Céline Sallette). As Frédéric and Paul spend more time together, Angèle bonds with Elisabeth, but while the men are content to talk about simple things, the women find themselves discussing issues in their relationships, including jealousy, anger and temptation. In time, the women's dissatisfaction leads them to consider other partners, turning all of their relationships upside down.
Although Philippe Garrel (Regular Lovers, The Frontier of Dawn) started making films in 1964 he remains almost unknown in the English-speaking world and the work of this daring auteur deserves greater recognition. Many of his films have been personal, almost autobiographical, and he has collaborated over the years with some of France's finest actors, producing substantial body of work. "Philippe Garrel is the proverbial underrated genius. He is the closest thing to a poet functioning today in French cinema." (Olivier Assayas) With a score by the Velvet Underground's John Cale, and the legendary Maurice Garrel (the director's father) in his final role.
Directed by Philippe Garrel, France/Italy/Switzerland, 2011, 35mm, 95 mins. In French and Italian with English subtitles.
Senses of Cinema: Garrel Village Voice TimeOut NY New York Times