fbpx

SUMMER

Director: KENNETH GLENAAN

U.K. • 2008 • COLOUR • ANAMORPHIC • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 82 MIN


THE STORY OF A FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN TWO MEN IN AN ECONOMICALLY DEPRESSED CORNER OF THE EAST MIDLANDS, DIRECTOR KENNETH GLENAAN’S SUMMER TOUCHES ON TERRAIN RECENTLY AND PROFITABLY EXPLORED BY FELLOW BRIT SHANE MEADOWS BUT IS MUCH MORE FORMALLY AMBITIOUS IN THE WAY IT SWITCHES BETWEEN THREE SEPARATE TIME FRAMES.

A tough yet sympathetic portrait of a life gone helplessly awry, Summer should establish Glenann as a major British director and has the added bonus of featuring a terrific central performance by the estimable Robert Carlyle. He plays Shaun, who spends the bulk of his time caring for his wheelchair-bound best friend Daz (Steve Evets). What brought them to this? As Shaun assesses his lot, we piece together a story of misfortune piled upon misfortune — of early frustrations calcified by indifference within the education system, and a resulting stigma that often proves impossible to erase.

Like Glenaan’s previous features, Gas Attack and Yasmin, Summer makes some forceful social points, but its strength is primarily in its emotional honesty rather than its political stance. Glenaan and Carlyle are adept at bringing humour and warmth to the bleakest of settings. Also a powerful presence in the film is the seductive realm of memory: an extensive series of flashbacks reveals that Shaun has never found another woman to compare to his classy first love, Katy (Rachel Blake). Constantly measuring his current lot against that brief spell of bliss (beautifully conjured in Tony Slater-Ling’s evocative widescreen cinematography), Shaun is a man who has become stuck — bitter about life’s blows and sexually jealous of his own sixteen-year-old self.

Irish Shorts@IFI: This screening includes Colour Contamination, an IFB funded animated tale of a clean-cut businessman who is adverse to all things colourful. Directed by Louise Bagnall. (Ireland, 2009, Colour, 3 min)

Book Tickets

}