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"Summer of Love" shines and "Don't Trust" pounds

Posted at 5:52 PM on January 9, 2006 by Euan Kerr

I spent a lot of time in front of the TV watching screeners this weekend. There is a lot of interesting stuff coming down the pike!

The one movie watched for pleasure was "My Summer of Love" which after the increasingly short pause after being on the theaters is now out on DVD. Director Pawel Pawlikowski constructs a langerous tale out of the summer romance between Mona and Tamsin, two young women from different sides of the tracks in the Yorkshire dales.

Mona (Natalie Press) lives above a pub which her brother, a reformed hoodlum born-again in prison, is transforming into a spiritual center. Tamsin (Emily Blunt) just got expelled from her boarding school for being "a bad influence." She puts out an air of cool sophistication, but soon reveals she is mourning her older sister's death from anorexia. A mutual fascination quickly develops.

Pawlikowski deftly tells the story through short scenes played out against the greenery of the rural landscape. His tightly written script is filled with silences, where the characters seem to acknowledge there is more going on here than meets the eye. When it happens though, it's still a surprise.

It'll be interesting to see where these two actors go. Press, for example, has a role in the highly acclaimed TV adaptation of "Bleak House" which will screen on "Masterpiece Theater" later this month.

On another front, "Don't Trust Anyone over Thirty" turned out to be a curate's egg of an experience. Amazing puppetry, ear-splittingly enjoyable punk from "Japanther" (who use handsets they claim they have stolen from payphones for microphones,) and huge multi-media images splashed across the walls were all breath-taking in their own way, but never quite jelled. We couldn't help noticing that Malcolm the 15 year old was one of the few people in the Walker crowd who was under 30. The high point for both Malc and me was when Ian Vanek, the Japanther drummer who had pretty much deafened us with his pounding, thanked everyone for coming then encouraged everyone to "make up some (stuff.) We got paid to do this!" He then uttered another phrase giving his view on the wisdom of that act, and stumbled off.

Both Malcolm and I laughed, although I suspect for different reasons.

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