Sunday, March 1, 2009

Summertime (1955) or You Can Never be too Old for a Foreign Affair

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After reading Raquelle’s post about Rome Adventure (1962), I suddenly felt very nostalgic about Roman Holidays. One of the stars of Rome Adventure is Rossano Brazzi, who also stars in Summertime.

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Summertime, tells the story of a spinster(or should I call her a bachelorette?), Jane Hudson, (Katharine Hepburn) on a vacation in Venice. She finds a chance with love in the form of a shop keeper played by Rossano Brazzi, who is far younger than she is(cougarlicious way before they invented that term).summertime1955-5  
Now, I absolutely adore this film and am therefore not subjective.  This film has the best backdrops of Venetian Italy.  Forget travel guide videos from PBS, this movie has the real Venice as seen through the lens of David Lean.  He accomplishes this by not merely sticking his camera at familiar tourists spots, but he captures certain aspects of the culture.  There are scenes under the heat of high noon where all the vendors are taking their siestas and another scene where Brazzi’s character takes Hepburn to a secluded part of Venice, away from the tourist attractions, where people hang their laundry.summertime1955-4
It is hard to believe that I am watching a motion picture since almost every single frame feels like a painting.

This is David Lean’s personal favorite of his films and I don’t blame him! He got a top script and Katharine Hepburn and Venice!

After watching this movie, I couldn’t help but think that that other Hepburn’s Roman Holiday was but a mere child's play or fairy tale.  Summertime is for grown ups.
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I made a music video a while back.  I have been getting a lot of complaints in regards to the music I used, but I found the song fitting. (I told them to make their own gawd dern music video if they didn’t like mine.)

So here it is: Heartbreak and self-sacrifice, love and Venice, gondolas and Katharine Hepburn.

Don’t miss the cinematic end of the video with the train, so romantic Hollywood! Not cliché at all the way Lean and Hepburn do it!

Note: After re-editing and butchering this masterpiece of a film, I couldn’t help but grasp a better understanding of Lean’s Genius and of Hepburn’s talent.  I highly recommend the process to anyone who loves a particular film so much.

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