Sandra, a young Italian from Rome now living in London, has become entangled in a no-future, stormy relationship, mixing desire and sexual games, with Miles Rennberg, a golden boy on the skids. One day, she finally gets rid of him, as much to break the unbearable circle of a passion that was consuming her as for financial reasons. Indeed, there is a contract out on Miles and Sandra’s Chinese-American boyfriend, Lester Wang, is the go-between. Both Sandra and Lester want to buy out a club in Pekin and start life anew there. They’ve planned to meet in Hong Kong, but Lester disappears and Sandra falls into a trap laid by Sue, Lester’s wife.
By French film critic and director Olivier Assayas ( demonlover ), starring Asia Argento.
In the ’90s Olivier Assayas emerged as one of the key figures in the new generation of French filmmakers. As a former critic for Cahiers du Cinema and a die-hard cinephile, he makes his films both personal and referential to the works of directors that he adores. His father was a director/screenwriter in the 1940s who later worked mainly for TV. When it was increasingly difficult for him to work because of a health condition, Olivier started to help him, first merely as a secretary, and then ghostwriting a few screenplays for the Maigret TV series. In the late 1970s he joined the team of influential film magazine Cahiers du Cinema, that once launched the French New Wave. While working for Cahiers he wrote essays on his favorite European filmmakers, Robert Bresson, Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky, and published extensive studies on American horror films and Hong Kong Cinema (the latter came out long before Hong Kong cinema became fashionable with Western filmgoers and critics). He collaborated… read more
Asia Argento (my first Film with her) may be very intense and dominates the film, but it struck me even more how secondary the genre elements seem to be in this film. I kept seeing spaces people live in, work in, hide in and try to survive in. There is a certain symmetry between suspense and action, not far after the middle of the film.
There are lots of filmmakers seeking for money out there! Who funded this film and why?
The most experimental and extreme of Assayas' feature films—a context which makes the conservativeness of SUMMER HOURS interesting. With only a bare skeleton to show, no script to get in the way, nuances and details are revealed with each screening of this amorphous, abstract thriller. This is pure filmmaking—though pure filmmaking entirely dependent on the acting and persona of the one of a kind Asia Argento.
March is turning in to an Olivier Assayas kinda month. So far I’ve revisited and revised some of my views on his epic… read review
File under essential quasi-mehta eurotrash B movie and sit back to watch Asia Argento prowl around looking pouncy and ready for danger. Until she isn’t. And then Kim Gordon appears and you wish she… read review
Sort of anti-climatic thriller. Although the performances by Asia Argento and Michael Madsen are good, is almost like the movie doesn’t decide what it wants to be. Even so that’s probably what makes… read review