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Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Best Summer Movie of 2014 Is from 1996

Posted by on Sat, Aug 2, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Amanda Langlet and Melvil Poupaud
  • Amanda Langlet and Melvil Poupaud

For those who engage in list-making, an archival release never before issued in the US often counts as a new film. For instance, Jean-Pierre Melville's 1969 Army of Shadows, which didn't make its way to the US until 2006, was considered by many writers as a new release, including Sheila Benson and former Stranger film editor Annie Wagner (it also topped my list of the best films of the year).

The same applies to the late French director Éric Rohmer. Though the other films in his "Tales of the Four Seasons" (1990 to 98) tetralogy were released in America, no distributor was willing to take a chance on A Summer's Tale (1996), so it didn't appear on US screens until just a few weeks ago (I distinctly remember watching An Autumn Tale at the Harvard Exit in the late-1990s, but still need to catch up with the other two films in the series).

If you missed the best summer movie of 2014, which played the Varsity Theatre in July, it returns to SIFF Cinema Uptown this Friday, where it will be playing for one week. I recommend it. Charles Mudede does, too. Not that it hasn't been a great summer for most every kind of film, from Snowpiercer to Boyhood, but A Summer's Tale is the most summery of all, both literally and figuratively.

A Summer's Tale plays SIFF Film Center through Aug 6. SIFF will also be bringing back Locke, which plays for one night only at SIFF Cinema Uptown on Aug 4.

 

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