A Tale of Summer (Éric Rohmer, 1996, France, French w/ English subtitles, DCP)
Based on events from Rohmer’s youth, A Tale of Summer follows amateur musician Gaspard (Melvil Poupard) to a seaside resort in Dinard, on the coast of Brittany. There three women (Amanda Langlet, Gwenaëlle Simon, Aurelia Nolin) each offer the possibility of romance, but Gaspard’s inability to commit to just one places all of his chances at love in jeopardy. Summer features Rohmer’s wistful observations on indecisiveness and the fickle nature of desire, as brought to life by a talented young cast in a picturesque setting.
“Despite the bright summer sun and the inviting expanses, Rohmer’s film is tight and airless; though it’s set in the present day, the febrile formalities evoke a vanished age—that of the director’s own youth—in which worldly witticisms and ponderous aphorisms both conceal and deflect passion.” – Richard Brody
“Rohmer is brilliant at capturing the peculiar nature of platonic straight-guy-straight-girl friendships, with their occasional crosscurrents of unspoken desire and their potential, however unrealized, to transform into courtships or love affairs.” – Film Comment
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