Oh, that I had watched a Philippe Garrel film before this. Routinely praised by critics, Garrel has been a major blind spot of mine for some time, so I was happy to get a screener of his latest, A Burning Hot Summer. At least until I watched it; based off Godard's seminal Contempt, Garrel's film tries to use the breakdown of a relationship as a commentary on love, politics and the cinema itself. But Summer lacks any and all of Godard's grace, depth and wit, instead plodding along like the sort of dull, lifeless art film that Contempt so deftly mocks. I hope this is just an aberration for the director and his other work proves more fruitful, but A Burning Hot Summer doesn't make me any more eager to explore the rest of filmography.
Read my full review at Spectrum Culture.