›› A Summer Dress - Une robe d'été
a short film by François Ozon.
1996 | 15 mins | France.
starring: Frédéric Mangenot / Luc, Lucia Sanchez / Lucia and Sébastien Charles as Sébastien.
Official Synopsis: "While on holiday with his boyfriend Sébastien, teenaged Luc has an encounter with a stranger on the beach that complicates his already ambivalent sexuality."
Written and directed by noted French director François Ozon of Time to Leave fame, this is probably one of the most well known of his many short films.
And you can see why, given this is a fun tale with Sébastien Charles as his namesake joyously camping it up big time, to the sound of the classic song "Bang, Bang" by French chanteuse Sheila, much to the frustration of his more macho boyfriend Luc who seeks solitude on the beach, only to find himself joined and in more ways than one, by the Spanish charms of Lucia Sanchez.
Drag without the drag in A Summer Dress.
Suffice to add that to say more would be a spoiler, given this is a beautifully played short, one that finds Ozon shine the spotlight on a young man only too happy to experience the sexual diversity of life. For that is what is on show throughout, as here Ozon refuses to pigeon-hole the sexuality of his boys, reversing their active / passive nature, whilst equally playing on the camp aspect of the piece, with the opening "drag without the drag" performance by Sébastien nicely countered by Luc having clearly taken a cross-dressing liking to that summer dress.
That's a nice dress you're wearing in A Summer Dress.
For between all of the overt homoeroticism and here cue Ozon letting his camera linger ever so voyeuristically over the Speedo clad shorts of his male members, lies a light-hearted tale of a world in which sexual boundaries do not exist; be they gay / straight or masculine / feminine. Nor for that matter do clothes seemingly exist either, with Mangenot all but naked for most of the time, in a work that wonderfully captures the "sun, sea and sex" spirit of sexually experimental adolescents on a summer holiday. Need more be said?
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - the brief monty.
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars.