Monday, January 25, 2010
I watched Olivier Assayas' Summer Hours as my last hurrah at G and Andy's, late at night. It opens up with soft emotionally tense music accompanying children playing outside a posh country home outside of Paris. The camera is constantly panning, moving from room to room, person to person, story to story. The palette is full of light summer colors and deep lively green. Each scene cuts immediately to the next, passing through time with no BS in between, just the important stuff. I kept waiting for something to really happen, but the film is simply a pretty and posh portrayal of the cycle of life, beginning with children playing outside and the death of a matriarch, ending with young people playing outside and the eldest grandchild talking about her future children. It's about the disconnectedness of modern life, disconnectedness from family, from roots, from one's motherland, about growing diaspora and globalization with a hint of personal isolation.