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A Burning Hot Summer (Un été brûlant)

On a burning summer’s night, a sports car crashes headlong into a tree.

The previous year… Paul meets the painter Frédéric through a mutual friend. Frédéric lives in Italy with Angèle, the actress with whom he is deeply in love. While working as an extra, Paul befriends an assistant – Roland and falls in love with Elisabeth, another extra.

Frédéric invites Paul and Elisabeth to stay in Rome. He shows Paul a photo of the grandfather who raised him and, during dinner, introduces Roland to Angèle, who seems troubled by his presence. Later, in a hotel, Angèle sleeps with Roland. Time passes. Angèle leaves Frédéric.

Elisabeth falls pregnant with Paul’s child. Frédéric seeks a divorce. Paul and Elisabeth leave Rome. Elisabeth’s baby is born. When Paul meets Frédéric by chance in Paris, the painter tells him that Angèle and Roland have broken up. That night, Paul is woken by a phone call: Frédéric has had a terrible accident….

As he lies delirious in hospital, the ghost of his grandfather appears to Frédéric. When Paul arrives, the painter confides that the crash was no accident: without Angèle, life has become unbearable. Paul leaves, and Frédéric dies. On a burning summer’s day, in a small village churchyard, Paul watches as his friend’s body is laid to rest. [Synopsis courtesy Wild Bunch via Mubi]

In the Shadow of Women

Pierre and Manon are poor. They make documentary films without a cent and they get by with odd jobs. Pierre meets a young intern, Elisabeth and she becomes his mistress. But Pierre doesn’t want to leave Manon for Elisabeth – he wants to keep them both. One day Elisabeth, Pierre’s young mistress, discovers that Manon, Pierre’s wife, has a lover. And she tells Pierre. Pierre’s attention turns back to Manon because she’s the one he loves. And because he feels betrayed, he beseeches Manon and neglects Elisabeth. Manon breaks it off with her lover right away. There’s a good chance that’s because she truly loves Pierre. [Synopsis courtesy of Directors’ Fortnight]


The film opens with a man leaving his wife and daughter and, in a series of brief conversations, observed gestures, chance encounters and impulsive acts, tells the story of the relationships that flounder and thrive in the wake of this decision. Louis Garrel, the director’s son and frequent star, plays the husband who moves into a garret apartment with his fellow actor girlfriend (Anne Mouglalis) as they struggle with fidelity and the temptation to give up their art for an easier life.