Monday, July 29, 2013

One Deadly Summer (1983)

I've seen and admired her in The Story of Adele H.(1975) Adolphe (2002) and other films in between. I've been following her secretly, blame it on the irresistible charm of hers. But it took One Deadly Summer (1983) to make me obsessed. I stood there eyes wide open; her natural beauty was only the bait. Then came her complicated character; Eliane was daring, tempting, playful. She was lost, sad, unstable. They said she loved men and gave in to pleasure, but she was planning to kill a couple of them, cause the thing she loved the most was her daddy.

An over the top or over the hill Lolita at her twenties, Eliane or easier Elle was born the result of a gang rape that stayed within her home boundaries; she would have preferred not to be born, or she would rather not know the whole thing. The latter one could be prevented, if only her dad did not insist on obliging her having a birth certificate where instead of his name the phrase "Unknown father" was blatantly shouting "problems". The problems were big, huge, unbearable; Eliane was biting her nails, was denying to wear glasses despite her short-shortsightedness -she was unable to see her own feet, but why bother?- and seemed casually careless. Well, she was not. A neurosis creeped from behind the shadows, the sun of southern France was not strong enough to shine away her fears, and her vengeance-plot was to no avail, other than to shade her mind with a black veil. For how long or for how little?

The film is based on the novel L'été meurtrier by Sébastien Japrisot who ALSO wrote the novel Un long dimanche de fiançailles, ALSO adapted for the screen with Audrey Tautou on the lead -this is some lucky guy, don't you think?

Well, to cut a long story short the film would be a quite forgettable one -it was second on the box office that year, though-, if it was not for Isabelle Adjani and her looks and performance. In this case, the film will stay in mind not only for its cute star, but also for its cute hosts: once again the 3rd Athens Open Air Festival is choosing a nice, busy spot to give us an utterly summery cinema experience and I'd like to personally thank them for that.

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