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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.


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Directors of For Sama

Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Visual Index ~ Summertime (1955)

When I scheduled Summertime for the "Hit Me..." series I admit I expect a huge drop off in participation due to its lack of any significant or least still-discussed reputation in the careers of David Lean and Katharine Hepburn. So I was pleasantly surprised to see such a crowd hopping on the water buses in Venice with Kate as Jane Hudson (hee. no, not that Jane Hudson).

What a difference a year has made in this series. Last year, I couldn't get a crowd for Bonnie & F'in Clyde. I almost retired the series. So thank you to the many new participants and the very reliably regulars who have stuck with this series through its popular and fallow episodes. There are only three episodes left before a June hiatus and I hope you'll stick around and get reenergize from a month of No Viewing Assignments. I am a taskmaster I know... but a benevolent one! I bring you good movies.

5/15 The Talented Mr Ripley (1999) 
5/22 Fantasia (1941... special instructions)
5/29 Hud (1963) 50th Anniversary!

But for now, let's look at the selected Best Shots from Summertime in narrative order (though I fear my order is off here since the film isn't very plotty). It's like watching a slide show of your neighborhood spinster's summer vacation!

Y'all packed? Let's go...

Los Mejores Planos
Antagony & Ecstacy

Cal Roth
Film Actually

She Blogged By Night
Cinema Enthusiast

The Film's The Thing

My New Plaid Pants
Pussy Goes Grrr

Dancin' Dan
Encore's WorldWe Recycle Movies
The Film Experience


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Reader Comments (14)

I love the Hit Me With Your Best Shot series. Nathaniel always picks such a good movie and the responses are so varied and interesting. And specific.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Film about loneliness is a very difficult sell. So much of the film has to have facial expressions or interior talking. It takes special actors. Most films do not have any "rebirth" - they just remain static - "Come Back Little Sheba", Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne". BUT "Summertime" does have that "rebirth" The last scenes on the train are imprinted on most viewers brains. Is Hepburn waving goodbye to Italy or compromised love. One point to be made is that when Hepburn sits down on the train, after leaving the station. She will know she has the ability to love. More valuable information than all that has gone on before - the characters rebirth.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterrobertL

BTW good choice Nathaniel!!!

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterrobertL

Wow, Robert, I loved what you just said about the "rebirth" there which sort of sums up one of the things many of us who chose the goodbye shots were getting at.

(Also, I love that Lean's "Summertime" bleeds into Minghella's "The Talented Mr Ripley" not just because of Italy, but because I've often found positive similarities in the two and their directorial styles.)

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Right on Andrew - I think you are on to something. People that want to reinvent themselves - for good or evil.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterrobertL

Love the series! Look forward to it each week. Even if I didn't really care for that week's film, which is rare, I read the choices and sometimes find something I might have missed about them.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I'm so happy the series is doing well. I too was pleasantly surprised by the turnout for Summertime. Looking forward to future episodes as always. :)

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

Nathan, when you dubbed yourself a benevolent taskmaster, I smiled and pictured you in Ben-Hur in the slave galley with your mallets. But you only gently hit the table, and you call out "ramming speed" in gentle, warm tones. And we have all chained ourselves to your cruise ship gladly and gratefully.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrookesboy

Hahaha, surely Brookesboy just made a contender for "comment du jour".

PS. If we do "Ben-Hur" for HMWYBS I've already got my best shot lined up.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Brookeboy -- that's hot.

Andrew K -- we've actually never done a best picture in this series.

May 11, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

You were talking about rebirth... Do you know what Renato means? Reborn. It's pretty clever that Renato is a catalyst for Jane's rebirth and although the film is not focused on him, Renato gets a rebirth, too.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

cal roth very interesting - did not know

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterrobertL

Thanks for doing this Nat. I loved how many people chose the final scene.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVince Smetana

Andrew, Ben-Hur is my favorite film. And I have the film memorized. It's perfect for this series because the entire movie is a painting. That moves.

May 11, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrookesboy

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