Clara | Thursday January 16th, 2014
Some films awake the senses, because they conceal many details that can go unnoticed on first viewing. These are films that should be read between the lines. Because, without a doubt, they often move us in ways that are fascinating.. A good example of this is the film LAST SUMMER OF THE BOYITA, by Julia Solomonoff.
1980’s Argentina, it’s summer, and Jorgelina, who is still a kid, is spending the holidays with her father in the countryside. There she meets Mario, who works in the fields, helping his parents with the harvest. He is already a teenager, and he confesses to Jorgelina that his body is starting to go through some strange changes. He feels as if he is going through something that will change his life, and that will make him different from the rest of the boys. Jorgelina doesn’t turn away from Mario. On the contrary – Mario’s revelation brings them closer. Jorgelina is a city girl, and from a very different social environment than Mario, who is the son of two conservative peasants. But social conventions do not matter to them. They are not even aware of their differences; their innocence is free of prejudices.
LAST SUMMER OF THE BOYITA is a film about friendship, tenderness, and about the loss of innocence. But it is not the plot, the mise en scène, or special effects that makes this film stand out. The film shines because of its simplicity and that way that it takes us close to what is essential, to what is real; it lets us approach the silence between the spaces, the moment of a gaze, and, the everyday sounds that fill the air. Indeed a baroque cinematographic style eclipses all of this. Solomonoff chooses the sounds of the land as sound track; there is no need for constant music to bolster the scene. The characters are capable of that on their own. The bed sheets, drying out under the sun, dance to the wind in a constant rhythm that combines with the innocent steps of an eleven-year old girl walking on the grass. Our sight and our hearing are so stimulated that we can even smell the summer. The long sequences, the close-up shots, and the subjective camera through Jorgelina’s eyes immerse the spectator in the story.
This is a film that awakens our senses; that has the capacity to nudge our attention to exactly those nuances that we miss in our ‘real’ lives, because they are of such a daily nature, and because of the rapidness and hubbub that surrounds us.
Clara Rodríguez Arasanz