The Alliance Française French Film Festival is on again. After a stop-start 2020 with the Festival twice interrupted by lockdowns and then cancelled altogether, it is good to be back in the cinema (masks ‘strongly recommended but not compulsory’). This year the festival has a new artistic director, Karine Mauris, and there is a diverse range of films from France and the Francophonie.
Summer of ’85 (★★★★★) has all the elements of a François Ozon film. The combination of music, colour, phantasmatic sequences, sex, and death, and a perfectly curated mise en scène create a most satisfying viewing experience. Best described as an erotic thriller (though this does not capture the generic play in Ozon’s films), Summer of ’85 charts the development and decline of an intense relationship between two teenage boys over the course of one summer on the beach in Normandy.