A Burning Hot Summer

95 minutes

Directed by French master Philippe Garrel, this leisurely paced drama continues his penchant for intimate, small-scale narratives that nevertheless aspire to complex emotions and themes. A married couple on the brink of divorce (Louis Garrel, Monica Bellucci) invite another couple (Jerome Robart, Celine Sallette) to spend a summer with them in Rome, where they discuss all manner of sex, love, art, and politics. Garrel's work is indebted to silent cinema style, but his recent films have shown a real flair for dialogue too; his characters tend to espouse hollow rhetoric that hints at ingrained conflicts. As a young man Garrel was involved in the protests that rocked Paris in May 1968, which may explain his disillusionment with the Sarkozy era; the real legacy of the left, he suggests, may be the political ambivalence its supporters passed down to their children. In French with subtitles.

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