Jonah: I could change my mind, it could be simpler…I’m scared.
Creating a film that avoids the old cliche’s found in every Queer film is no easy feat, and to say that LAST SUMMER completely succeeds in this would be an overstatement. Mark Thiedeman’s new feature film doesn’t reinvent any wheels in the world of cinema, but it does breathe a breath of fresh air into a genre that is either hyper-sexualized or too political for some audience members.
Opening with a montage of shots of brick walls, water colour paintings and dancing reflections of light, that almost goes too long, LAST SUMMER looks at the relationship between two young men before one of them heads off to college, while the other stays behind in their small town. Neither of their parents seem to have an issue with their relationship, nor does any one else in the movie, which is both refreshing yet a little bothersome as there is simply no antagonistic force bearing down, or major negative conflict that needs to be resolved. It is simply a story of two lovers who know that eventually they will be separated and they need to figure out which direction their relationship will take.
LAST SUMMER is like rummaging through a dusty old attic on a hot July afternoon and stumbling across a scrapbook; it is replete with images of baseballs on bed side tables, run-down American model cars, Converse shoes and long shadows from the summer’s sun. It is quiet like those summer days we remember as kids. LAST SUMMER is a meditation on youth and the fleeting moments of love’s first kiss; it is both romantic and heartbreaking in its own way, and Thiedeman has somehow managed to capture the magical essence of summers past on film.
@InsideOutTO 2014 Screening
05.27, 7:15 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox
How many sheep would you give Last Summer?