EIFF 2014: Au revoir l’été

Film Review by Josh Slater-Williams | 26 Jun 2014
  • Au revoir l’été
Film title: Au revoir l’été
Director: Kôji Fukada
Starring: Fumi Nikaidô, Mayu Tsuruta, Taiga, Kanji Furutachi, Kiki Sugino, Takashi Ohtake, Ena Koshino

Japanese writer-director Kôji Fukada's excellent previous feature, screened internationally under the name Hospitalité, had a hint of Luis Buñuel to it, and the influence of another European master is present in the similarly French-titled Au revoir l’été. Here, the breezy holiday romances of French filmmaker Eric Rohmer infuse the atmosphere of a delicate ensemble piece set over one summer.

When thoughtful 18-year-old Tokyo-dweller Sakuko (Nikaido) journeys to a coastal town to house-sit with her aunt (Tsuruta), she discovers the deceptions of the adult world through interactions with a loosely-connected mix of individuals (e.g. a philandering art lecturer, the manager of a love hotel), while also forming a bond with a young Fukishima refugee (Taiga). The warm film proceeds at a leisurely pace, relying on the casual conversations of pleasant people alone to engage, rarely digging too deep with some of the moral conundrums it flirt with – something Rohmer tended to excel at. Though a consistently enjoyable watch, it’s perhaps too light to linger.

Au revoir l’été has its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival

26 Jun, 6pm, Cineworld