Edge

5 Summer Films You Should Have Seen

Surprisingly, it was a rather spectacular summer for the cinema. After a two-year lull in quality cinema, things have picked up in 2002. First, both Monsoon Wedding and Kissing Jessica Stein hit the mark in the spring, and then the summer whopped out these five important, very aesthetic films.

5. Me Without You: Tracing the friendship span of two girls from childhood into adult years, this British film follows them from their shagadelic 1970’s styled childhood and sexually abandoned 80’s new wave teen years into their mildly matured adult years.

The friendship plays the centerpiece of the film and displays all the aspects of tight-knit female bonds -from the jealousy, to the dependency, to the love. In the climatic scene, Michelle William’s character explains why she wants to eradicate the friendship, particularly because “you make me hate myself.” This long confession to her friend might be one of the most honest speeches about female bonds made in recent film.

4. Lovely and Amazing: Although Catherine Keener basically plays the same character she has played in so many films, and Brenda Blethyn tries so hard to cover her British accent that you can’t help noticing, Lovely and Amazing still reveals the trouble two sisters have in ridding their psyches of values instilled by their insecure mother. Most importantly, all of the characters deal with issues of physical image that are seemingly passed down from mother to daughter. Genetic or not?

In one scene, Keener explains to her much younger, adopted sister why she is lucky to dodge the genetics fastenings of the family. “You don’t have to be like mom. Me, though, God, I can’t get rid of it.” While not exactly an amazing film, it definitely qualifies as being lovely.

3. Sunshine State: Sunshine State, a follow-up to John Sayles’ highly acclaimed Lone Star, finds Sayles in the same territory he has focused much of his work on for years. Like in City of Hope and Lone Star, this film’s characters deal with change in their community, and the tensions that run among various races.

In all of John Sayles’ movies, characters usually pair off, take long walks, and explain their various lives and situations to another character, who, in turn, explains about his/her own conflicted life.

These conversations almost take the form of cathartic lifesavers for the characters they involve. Most of the time they continue to drown, but this release of inner turmoil helps them stay afloat that much longer.

This is especially the case For Edie Falco’s character, who feels herself drowning under the weight of salvaging her dad’s boring motel business. Her conversation with a real estate prospector becomes nothing less than vital. As he leaves in the end, she finds herself back in the rut of everyday life. The last image is her face underwater, and this time the drowning is quite literal.

2. Insomnia: Memento fans beware: Christopher Nolan chose a much less innovative way to follow up his smash novice film. Quality cinema fans take note: Christopher Nolan improves upon Memento, creating a intricately paced second feature that finds Al Pacino, Robin Williams, and Hillary Swank all in top form. Nolan steadily balances the beauty of the Alaskan scenery with a tight, taut thriller story, complete with psychological investigation.

1. The Piano Teacher: One quarter of the way through The Piano Teacher, Isabelle Hubert’s character (the piano teacher of the title – very stubborn and authoritative) does something so sexually shocking yet realistic that I gagged (for the first time ever watching a movie). The most shocking aspects of this film are not the actual events on screen, but the realism that glows within them. A Cannes winner from last year, The Piano Teacher qualifies as one of the best foreign films to come out in quite some time.

Patrick Berkley can be reached at p.berkley@umiami.edu.

August 30, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Darrell Langham, the redshirt junior receiver who caused an uproar among Miami Hurricanes fans the p ...

This news release just in from the University of Miami, another impressive class about to be inducte ...

The University of Miami men’s basketball team got a welcome dose of good news on Monday night. Verno ...

After a disheartening week of practice injury-wise following the University of Miami’s victory at Fl ...

University of Miami’s highly-touted freshman Lonnie Walker, who had surgery for a torn right meniscu ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

A summer 2017 excursion unlike any other united a group of University of Miami students and faculty ...

Darrell Langham has been a hero twice this season, but his path to prominence has been a long one. ...

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame has announced the Class of 2018 inductees for the 50th A ...

Senior diver Wally Layland was recognized for her standout performance at the SMU Classic with ACC C ...

University of Miami freshman Lonnie Walker IV was among 20 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

The Miami Hurricanes will begin preparation for the 2018 season when fall practice commences Wed., O ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.