Summer’s finally here, and few contemporary films evoke the season as vividly as the sun-dappled, beautifully acted ensemble drama that serves as our spotlight Criterion Collection Edition this week on FilmStruck. Olivier Assayas’s 2008 Summer Hours tells the story of a family through the objects it holds dear, focusing on the relationships of three siblings who must decide what to do with a country estate they’ve inherited from their late mother. Our director-approved edition includes interviews with the filmmaker and his cast (including Juliette Binoche and Charles Berling), as well as a documentary examining the film’s approach to art. If you’re looking for more Assayas on the Channel, watch his introduction to our retrospective of Sacha Guitry, an underappreciated master of early French cinema.
Also up this week: a Short + Feature program that puts your boots in the bullring, an analysis of sound design in a late masterpiece by Claude Chabrol, and a double bill that transports you back to the swinging sixties.
This thrill-junkie pairing matches Carroll Ballard’s Rodeo, a short documentary portrait of the 1968 National Rodeo Finals in Oklahoma City, with Francesco Rosi’s visceral bullfighting saga The Moment of Truth. For a closer look at the parallels between these two films, check out programmer Michael Sragow’s interview with Ballard, published earlier this week on the Current.
In our ongoing, Channel-exclusive series Observations on Film Art, film scholars David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, and Jeff Smith examine elements of cinematic style in the work of great auteurs. Our latest installment features Smith delving into Claude Chabrol’s La cérémonie and the ways in which it uses offscreen sound to reinforce its themes of class conflict and the protagonist’s sense of isolation. Previous subjects in this series include camera movement in Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors: Red, music in Alfred Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent, editing in Akira Kurosawa’s Sanshiro Sugata, and landscapes in the work of Abbas Kiarostami.
London mods meet Parisian models in this pairing of photographer-turned-filmmaker William Klein’s irreverent narrative feature debut, which chronicles the travails of an American girl navigating the world of haute couture, and Franc Roddam’s adaptation of the Who’s beloved rock opera, which captures the rebellious spirit of sixties London and includes early performances by Sting and Ray Winstone.