One Deadly Summer
Release Date: 29 July, 2019
Directed by: Jean Becker
Isabelle Adjani plays Elle, a provocative 19-year-old whose move, with her mother and sick father, to a sleepy Provence village sets the locals afire with lust and gossip. She soon finds a suitor in gentle Pin-Pon (Alain Souchon), the local mechanic, and they marry shortly after. Then the tone shifts, when a dark secret emerges from her past, the film becomes more complex and Adjani’s character reveals a disturbing side as she manipulates events and men in order to seek revenge for an outrage inflicted in her childhood…
With more César Awards than any other French actor and a host of Oscar® nominations, Adjani (Queen Margot, Camille Claudel) is one of the most celebrated French star of all time. Her acting talent and staggering sensual beauty both reaching a career-defining high in Becker’s ONE DEADLY SUMMER (L’ETE MEURTRIER), which became the highest grossing French film of the year and the prototype for the erotic thrillers which Hollywood made in its wake.
Arriving on UK Blu Ray in a special edition for the first time from CultFilms the 1983, French, erotic thriller One Deadly Summer (L’ete Meurtrier) was a revelation for me to discover.
The film stars Isabelle Adjani as Elle, a dark haired, attractive, leggy 19 year old who returns to a rural village in Provence with her sick father and mother. It’s the type of place that Keith Floyd would visit when he was on TV. She starts to get the attention of all the men in the village and she becomes involved with Alain Souchon's Pin-Pon, the local mechanic/fireman/adopter of the Kevin Keegan perm and with her new love, she moves into his family home.
Elle is a complicated woman. Whenever she isn't strutting around in next to nothing, with the oppressive heat of Provençal summer, the mentally unstable woman is investigating the wrong that happened to her family many years ago. She was the product of an horrific event and she will get her revenge, regardless of the consequences.
At first her relationship with Pin-Pon is part of her "mission" and he looks upon her, as the new woman in town, with pure lust but it turns into a romance with it being the only one she'll experience in her tragic life. He should have seen she wasn't stable during their first date at a fancy restaurant.
The film isn't all serious and there are some lighter moments, like the playful relationship that Pin-Pon has with his two brothers that adds to the different colours the movie, as does the collaborative friendship Adjani's character develops with Pin-Pon’s hard of hearing aunt, played brilliantly by Suzanne Elon.
The screenplay for One Deadly Summer is written by Sébastien Japrisot, who manages to skillfully adapt his novel, expertly weaving this tale of the past coming back to haunt you. The Director, Jean Becker, is more than capable of dealing with the time jumps required of telling the story that's equally set in the past and present and effectively shows off the beauty of the french countryside in the summertime in collaboration with his brother, Etienne Becker, as cinematographer.
The real stand out is lead Isabelle Adjani's performance and it’s no wonder she received the French, "Oscar" equivalent, César Award for Best Actress for this role. Some may see the way that she dresses in figure hugging outfits and bikinis as trashy but she's a complex, layered woman who's deeply intelligent.
One Deadly Summer is must see for fans of French cinema and the thriller genre and this release from CultFilms serves as a great introduction to the work of Jean Becker. The disc, as well as restoring the picture, contains an interview with the director and a featurette discussing the work of the film's Screenwriter/Author, Sébastien Japrisot that I learnt is an equally complex man from this 43 mins extra.
2K scan and restoration
High definition Blu-ray (1080p) and standard definition DVD presentations
Interview with director Jean Becker (28 mins)
Documentary on the author of the original novel, screenwriter Sébastien Japrisot, known as the Graham Greene of France (43 mins)
New, improved English subtitles
Picture format: BD: HD 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.66:1
Audio Format: BD: Dual mono PCM, DVD: Dolby Digital 2.0
Running Time: 133 mins
CultFilms presents One Deadly Summer on Dual Format Blu-Ray & DVD - Available now.