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80 Ratings

Lumière d'été

Directed by Jean Grémillon
France, 1943


A shimmering glass hotel at the top of a remote Provençal mountain provides the setting for a tragicomic tapestry about an obsessive love pentangle, whose principals range from an artist to a hotel manager to a dam worker.

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Lumière d'été Directed by Jean Grémillon
An aristocratic past and a fairy tale mood also haunt Lumière d’été (1943), in which Grémillon richly visualizes an allegorical script by Jacques Prévert. This screenplay uses a stock premise of rivalry over an ingenuous young woman, and rather heavy-handedly contrasts a decadent upper class with honest workers. It is saved less by Prévert’s poetic dialogue than by the surreal, unearthly setting and mood of disquiet.
November 18, 2014
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Lumière d’été shows the rhythm of Grémillon’s shots, the graceful way they build on one another. Michèle approaches the hotel from the winding access road, shot from below; later, when the roaring drunk Roland rides a motorcycle to the hotel, it’s shot from a long distance above, until he arrives in the courtyard and falls flat on his face. Again and again, we’re shown things climbing, like the cable car that connects to the dam, and things falling, like a shower of rocks from an explosion.
September 11, 2012
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The final section opens up dramatically (and vertiginously) to an open gorge where a dam is being constructed; if the characters so far have seemed to be living above and apart from the world, they now come crashing back to earth.
July 27, 2012
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