“Of course, it was a great pleasure to work with Timothée Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Esther Garrel and the other actors.” Of course.
Our motto of this week is that, though our bodies may be staying home, our minds still need to travel. And what better way than revisiting our ultimate European summers on screen? Open up your windows to let the breeze in. Pour yourself an aperitif and let your imagination run free. It’s all a matter of perspective.
The Talented Mr. Ripley, 1999
Peak Jude Law. Need we say more? But like many films on this list, The Talented Mr Ripley is pleasing to the eye from every angle. 50s jet set costumes on Law and a young Gwyneth Paltrow. Lush interiors. A backdrop of Positano and Rome. The plot is dark but the rest is pure sunshine.
La Piscine, 1969
We could never look past La Piscine. Romy Schneider, Alain Delon, Jane Birkin. The picturesque French Riviera as backdrop to a story of lust and violence (we’re seeing a pattern). No film captures sun drenched days quite like this one. Beginning as a languid summer, only to be disturbed by visitors, La Piscine might actually make you appreciate isolation.
La Collectionneuse, 1967
Ever had a summer romance? La Collectionneuse is about that, kind of. Known to the Instagram generation for the most aesthetically pleasing film stills imaginable, director Eric Rohmer’s first film in colour follows young protagonist Haydée as she ah, collects men. It was the 60s. It was summer. Should we try and create her haircut at home?
Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, 2019
This is a documentary, but in all other respects it fits the bill. Set to the rhythm of young love between poet Leonard Cohen and his longtime partner Marianne Ihlen on the Greek island of Hydra, the Super 8 footage is enough to transport you to another place. Things start out lush and get more complicated from there. Another story of summer love lost. Or is it?
Call Me by Your Name, 2017
Director Luca Guadagnino combines the sweetness of summer, artful references and sexual tension more skilfully then almost anyone. Throw in career-defining performances by Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer and a soundtrack that juxtaposes Sufjan Stevens and the Psychedelic Furs and you have yourself a recipe for the most heartfelt escapism.
A Bigger Splash, 2016
Another Piscine, this time on the island of Ischia, Italy. More Guadagnino. Another killer soundtrack. If you don’t want to see a modern La Piscine remake; Tilda Swinton dressed in custom Raf Simons-era Christian Dior and Ralph Fiennes dancing to the Stones, quite frankly, we don’t know what you’re doing here.