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A Summer’s Tale

Eric Rohmer

Conte d'Ete

Warmly received at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, A Summer’s Tale is the third film in Eric Rohmer’s celebrated series ‘Tales of the Four Seasons’, following A Tale of Springtime and A Winter’s Tale. The new film charts the summer holiday in Dinard of Gaspard (Melvil Poupaud), a young man who claims that nothing every happens in his life, good or bad. The unassertive Gaspard is chatted up by Margot (Amanda Langlet), a vivacious student who works as a waitress to earn a little money. Under Margot’s inquisitive prodding, Gaspard opens up and reveals his preoccupation with Lena (Aurelia Nolin), who is due to arrive soon but is not, he thinks, in love with him. Margot takes him to a local disco, where he meets the sultry Solene (Gwenaëlle Simon), whose brazen, self-confident approach boosts Gaspard’s ego. Finally, Lina arrives in Dinard. Who will Gaspard choose?
As ever with Rohmer, the journey of self-discovery and the interaction between the characters form the core of the film, which is another of the veteran director’s subtle explorations of the themes of love and friendship. Variety’s critic described A Summer’s Tale as ‘vintage Rohmer, his most richly satisfying film in a number of outings.’ (France, 1996. Subtitled. 113 mins.)

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