Philippe GarrelFrance / Italy / Switzerland95 minutes2011ColourFrench English Italian
In part an homage to Godard's Contempt, A Burning Hot Summer is also a tribute to Garrel's late friend, the painter Frédéric Pardo ("I wanted to immortalize a part of him in the film, but without lapsing into fetishism," the director commented). A young French couple, Paul (Jérôme Robart) and Elisabeth (Céline Sallette), spend the summer at the luxurious Roman home of brooding painter Frédéric (Louis Garrel) and his beautiful wife, actress Angèle (Monica Bellucci). Cracks begin to show in each couple's relationship as the quartet spends more time together, until Frédéric's intense jealousy over Angèle leads to irreconcilable damage. "Love and death couldn't be more closely intertwined… it has a near-adolescent purity of purpose in how it handles love and loss… A Burning Hot Summer wisely knows when and how to surgically slice directly to the bone. It's a bad romance of the highest order" (Eric Hynes, Time Out).