Originally filmed in 1965 this classically styled film was lost for more than forty years. Faithfully restored, it was shown for the first time in 2010 and is now available to audiences worldwide.
Film Review: Summer Children (1965) - By Josh Samford Posted on Wednesday, June 02, 2010 With Rogue Cinema, "I am more often than not inundated with contemporary independent cinema to review. It is not often that I am fortunate enough to dig through the relics of our past, but Summer Children offers just that opportunity. A lost film from the past, it is only now making its debut in the home video marketplace. Considered lost by the filmmakers for many years, within the past few years the producers, Jack Robinette and Edie Robinette-Petrachi, cast and crew have been working on restoring the print to a pristine shape and they have done a fine job. Showcasing the naivite of youth and the earth shattering realities that all maturing adults have to come to realize, Summer Children is often cited for its lush cinematography delivered by Vilmos Zsigmond but aside from the absolutely breathtaking visuals I am here to say that this feature has more than just that going for it. A wealth of depth and style, Summer Children has been hidden from the public for many years at this point but this is something that will hopefully change very soon West is a young man on the verge of discovery. He sets off on a sailing trip, using his dad's boat, with a group of five friends. He is taking this trip with the lovely Diana, who is elusive and yet so striking that he can not stop thinking about her. He also has his good friend Franky to contend with who has eyes for every female that he runs across. Franky is older than the rest and has self-appointed himself the leader of the group and is earnest in searching out a good time. Whether the rest of the group wants to go along peaceably or not. When the group comes upon a big party, Franky sees this as an opportunity to fall into lust and gluttony while West simply wants to spend time with Diana. However, Diana isn't as naive or simplistic as poor West thinks she is. During the course of this one night, this group of young people will have their lives changed forever. Stumbling across Summer Children at the time that I have, it almost seems as if the stars have aligned just perfectly. Recently I have been going through the works of John Cassavetes and with Summer Children I have found something similar to his work. The film reminds me a lot of Cassavetes and his style of rehearsed-improvisational performances. The best comparison I can make for the dialogue and performances would be a mix of Cassavetes and a little bit of the intellectual wit of earlier Woody Allen. It invokes that feeling of sixties experimentation and comes across as an attempt at deconstructionism in order to find something real within this very theatrical medium. The use of handheld cameras at times helps to further this atmosphere and it is overall a surprisingly cerebral character study. Everything is set up in order to get inside the mind and motives of these various characters. The character of West in particular is interesting to me. Summer Children comes across as a talking point of the sexual revolution, with the character of West being the character having to adjust and change to this new climate. I think the film shows the liberation of free love, but it also shows the de-valuing of love in the face of such cultural change. The character of West is a old fashioned romantic and forcing him to deal with this new wave of sexual expressions, he is essentially forced to adapt and let loose of his preconceived notions of actual love in comparison to the needs of the flesh. Director James Bruner and writer Norman Handelsman crafted a very interesting project. Although it is certainly a work of genuine entertainment, I would say it is a intellectually stimulating film without a doubt. ..." --Rogue Cinema