Summer is for sun, trashy beach reads, and steamy cinematic tales about summer flings and romance. We’re partial to the latter this weekend. But since we’re pining for faraway places, we collected a list of foreign titles that add a little exoticism to the erotic summer film oeuvre.
One Summer of Happiness (1951)
Arne Mattsson’s movie was the first Swedish film to win the Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear. It also courted controversy across the globe for its nude scenes. The film’s portrayal of sexual freedom helped establish Sweden’s reputation for having a liberal attitude toward sexuality.
Swimming Pool (2003)
François Ozon’s film is a tense erotic thriller about a British novelist who spends the summer in France to work on her next book. But her solitude is interrupted by the arrival of a mysterious young woman, leading to the author’s voyeuristic fascination with the scantily clad visitor and, ultimately, an obsession.
Summer with Monika (1953)
The sexual frankness of Ingmar Bergman’s Summer with Monika became an international sensation, despite the movie’s ill-fated narrative. An idyll summer of swimming and passion on the islands off Stockholm turns to tragedy for two young lovers. The film’s titillating marketing scheme made Summer with Monika the most widely seen Bergman movie in the States.
Summer Affair (1971)
Giorgio Stegani’s sun-baked story of a teenage girl who falls for a free-spirited young man despite her father’s disapproval captures their time frolicking on a deserted island as the star-crossed lovers evade the police. The film stars 16-year-old Ornella Muti and Alessio Orano, who have loads of chemistry.
Summer Heat (1968)
Two brothers lust after the same woman, which leads to nowhere good. Summer Heat is essentially a remake of Ko Nakahira’s 1956 Nikkatsu youth-gone-wild tale Crazed Fruit, produced by Hong Kong’s Shaw Brothers Studio.
The Summer of Sangaile (2015)
From Slant on the Lithuanian-language Sundance winner:
Kavaité links feminine bliss to interiority and quietness, as if understanding that Austé and Sangaile can’t completely shake off the demand to be gracious and docile even as they try to free themselves from such a demand. It’s refreshing to see the film’s dreamy cinematography in play not in the name of aesthetic acrobatics, but as unapologetic replacement of the banality of spoken language. The girl’s muteness is ultimately a type of recoiled laughter, a refusal to engage. It’s as if the film’s visuals were absorbed with a similar refusal to be read clearly. In one lovely scene, Sangaile and Austé make love in a realistic bedroom enveloped by the surreal flickering of red lights. We’re no longer in a bedroom, or in Lithuania, and the bodies before us are no longer fleshy, but either canvases or screens.
Come Undone (2000)
Teenage boys explore sex and fall in love during a summer on the beach in Brittany. From the New York Times:
The depiction of Mathieu and Cédric’s intense affair, whose ecstatic interludes are interrupted by angry spats, feels utterly real. While the movie has abundant male nudity and one hot sex scene, the camera never seems voyeuristic because everything is seen from Mathieu’s essentially innocent perspective.
A coming-of-age tale about a schoolgirl’s summer exploring her sexuality. More on the title of the film from Movies About Girls:
The character’s strange name alludes to a late 19th-century collection of erotic poetry by Pierre Louÿs which tell the story of a young woman of Ancient Greece. In fact, the poems were presented as though written by the young girl of the title. The name was also employed by the Daughters of Bilitis, an early lesbian civil rights group in the U.S. active in the ‘50s and ‘60s that had folded by time Hamilton’s film appeared. Louÿs’ poetry does get quoted in the film, although on the whole the movie’s thin, unsteady plot is more “inspired by” than an adaptation of the lyrics, borrowing themes of sexual exploration and lesbianism and employing a similarly melancholic vibe.