Trailer: Francois Ozon’s Dreamily Nostalgic ‘Summer of 85’ is Coming Stateside

If you imagined Francois Ozon’s 2003 stunner Swimming Pool, as possibly crossed with Luca Guadagnino‘s Oscar-winning Call Me By Your Name, you might have the former’s Summer of 85, which opened in France last year, and is now at last arriving in US cinemas this June. The praise has been considerable, with the film garnering Official Selection status at both the 2020 Cannes International Film Festival, and the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival – as well as being featured in the 2021 Lincoln Center Rendez-Vous With French Cinema this past March.

It opens with Alexis Robin (Félix Lefebvre) being interrogated by police for the possible murder of his new friend David Gorman (played with striking charisma by Benjamin Voisin). Flashback to six months before, and Alex’s small sailboat has capsized off the coast of Normandy – only to have the exceedingly handsome David comes to his rescue, and bring him home to dry off. At that moment, the latter’s mother seems to take an “interest” in the former, leading him upstairs to take a restorative bath. But alas, his attention was not on her.

The Cure‘s ‘In Between Days’ then so perfectly kicks in to tensely but exhilaratingly soundtrack the rest of the trailer – the song ironically features the lyric “Yesterday I got so old” – to this story of burgeoning and delirious young friendship and love. We see the pair blissfully sailing, dancing exuberantly in a very ’80s looking club scene, and motorcycling seaside/carefree in some impossibly scenic Seine-Maritime town. It is an absolute idealization of youthful infatuation.

But Alex reveals much when he recites of the essence of their connection: “At that time, I’d have done anything for him. I wanted us together always. But even when I was with him, it wasn’t enough.”

For visual authenticity, Ozon shot the whole thing on 16mm. And the fashions, hairstyles and indoor sets so perfectly capture the aesthetic of that seemingly simpler time…simpler, perhaps, because by later in the decade virtually all gay love stories (imagined ones and real ones) would come to be plagued by the specter of the AIDS crisis. Summer of 85 is a chance, then, to lose oneself in ecstatic nostalgia – as imagined by one of the greatest directors working today.

Summer of 85 opens via Music Box Films exclusively in theaters on Friday, June 18 in New York (Angelika Film Center and Film at Lincoln Center) and Los Angeles (Laemmle’s Royal and Pasadena’s Laemmle Playhouse 7), followed by a national release.

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