Feels Like Summer

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Summer's here and we've got some great recommendations of films that will give you sunshiny feels, whatever the weather, courtesy of members of Glasgow Film Theatre Youth Board who, below, pick the movies that remind them of summer.

The Kings of Summer

Coming-of-age during the summer. It seems like the perfect setting. Full of overused metaphors about sunsets and childhood coming to an end. Full of freedom, last longing glances at friends soon to be left behind and a strange feeling in your chest that you can’t describe. It’s a mix of sadness and hope for the future, a reminder that while life is ordinary it’s also full of strange and beautiful things. No film quite encapsulates all these things like The Kings Of Summer

Released in 2013, this Jordan Vogt-Roberts directed film tells the story of when Joe Toy (Nick Robinson), frustrated by his father (Nick Offerman), declares his freedom and runs away to the nearby woods with his best friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and a stranger called Biaggio (Moises Arias) to build a house and become free from all responsibilities, to have the best summer of their lives. 

I am desperately in love with this film. The overwhelming feeling of angst and the desperate nature of what these three boys are doing, it was as if someone had cut open 15-year-old me’s brain and written a film about the emotions I couldn’t even put into words. The friendships between the three boys and their respective family relationships are clearly the main focus of the film. Each has his own reason for wanting to escape. The dialogue between the boys constantly poses bizarre scenarios that you don’t realise until after are perfectly true to life. We do have strange conversations about things we’ll never truly understand and we laugh about stupid things. It’s as if you are part of an inside joke, getting a glimpse of another version of something you once had. It’s exhilarating. 

The freedom that is brought with escaping into the woods is only complemented by the beautifully chaotic woodland area where they decide to build their house. The panning camera shots as they jump into a lake from a waterfall, captures this beautiful wild feeling of youth and foreverness. The bittersweet nostalgic feelings of letting go, goes beautifully with the beach scenes where we see a low burning orange fire and the dark vastness of the night signifying the wideness of the world. The soft glow of the sun setting on a childhood now looming far into the distance. The loud laughs of your high school best friends; some will stay, some won't. Summer is coming to an end. 

The Kings of Summer places a freeze-frame on a specific feeling you will never rid yourself of. Letting you look back at the fleeting nature of youth and naivety, perhaps leaving you wishing you could go back and appreciate it just one last time.

Nadia, aged 17

Kiki's Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) follows the ups and downs of a 13-year-old witch called Kiki as she tries to get by in a new town for the year. Throughout the film, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, there is a constant array of colours and sunny vistas, which paint an idyllic small port town, perfect for a summer holiday. Aside from the visuals, the film also represents the transition from childhood into adulthood. Although this doesn’t reflect my summers now it does reminds me of a time (only a few years back I should add!) when each summer represented gaining more responsibilities, such as being able to stay out an hour later, gaining that extra bit of pocket money, or being able to venture further than the previous year. Kiki’s Delivery Service is probably one of Studio Ghibli’s most sincere and sweet films.

Kasey, 17

The Florida Project 

One film that reminds me of summer would have to be The Florida Project (2017) directed by Sean Baker. The unique colour palette of the many vibrant buildings adds to the intensity of a hot summer's day, also reinforced by the effective imagery and acting throughout. I distinctly remember being able to feel the sweltering warmth of the Florida sun as Baker so expertly delivers when the protagonists eat ice cream, wearing their summery clothing. The child-like wonder captured by the main child actress helps to convey the feeling of being a kid again and trying to stay cool on a hot day, abroad or at home in the blow-up pool. 

Fraser, 19

Call Me By Your Name

For me, the summeriest of all the summer movies is Call Me By Your Name (2017). Set in sunny Italy during the summer, and directed by Luca Guadagnino, it totally gives off romantic summer feels and is overall a brilliant film. Actually, I refuse to watch it unless it’s during the summer months. I first saw this movie at GFT at the end of October in 2017, and I vividly recall stepping out of the movie theatre and there was this very beautiful golden red sunset. Despite it being October, everything felt very summery and warm, and that left an impression on me. Ever since then, I’ve been a massive fan of the film, but can only watch it under very specific circumstances. It absolutely has to be warm and sunny outside (hard to come by here in Glasgow!) and I preferably watch it later on in the day so that it finishes by the time the sun is setting. I love it so much that I don’t want to watch it when it doesn’t feel right and ruin the lovely memory of the first time I saw it. What a wonderful film!

Julia, 18

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