It’s a summer movie! it’s the most fun we’ve had “at” the movies in years

The trailer for It’s a summer movie!

When was the last time you had a cigar? fun at the cinema? For many of us, it’s probably been at least 1.5 years, given the global health pandemic that has been closing theaters and causing distributors to retain the types of movies that can bring so much joy (please wait Bond, for favor) . Throughout 2020 and early 2021, the state of the industry meant that only the extremes were unleashed: prestige dramas competing for hardware and big-budget blockbusters that cost so much that has to Push ASAP for ticket sales or a great streaming deal. Stumbling upon the unrestricted pleasure of, say, something like Palm springs became a rarity.

But if you can find It’s a summer movie!A mix of genres from Japan that focuses on some samurai-obsessed high school girls – get ready for over 90 minutes of non-stop smiles. This film was recently screened as part of Fantasia Fest, perhaps the best genre film event in the world. It’s a festival that routinely features the kind of work that takes viewers off guard, but ends up among the best of the year (see The columnist, as of 2020). Within another unusual movie year in progress, It’s a summer movie! you have already comfortably secured that very fate. In fact, it might be one of the most enjoyable movies we’ve come across in the last five years (on a par with Bill and Ted 3, Coco, a documentary about Highlights for kids, and a high school zombie Christmas musical).

Filmed on (maybe) iPhone

It’s a summer movie! (Is 8.6 a Pitchfork score? I think my colleagues there would agree that it is the cinematic equivalent of Best New Music.) “Src =” https://cdn.Insider Voice.net/wp-content/uploads/ 2021/08 / Screen-Shot-2021-08-26-at-7.35.26-AM-300×425.png “width =” 300 “height =” 425 “srcset =” https://cdn.Insider Voice.net/wp -content / uploads / 2021/08 / Screen-Shot-2021-08-26-at-7.35.26-AM-640×906.png 2x “/> Enlarge / The poster of It’s a summer movie! (Is 8.6 a Pitchfork score? I think my colleagues there would agree that this is the cinematic equivalent of the best new music.)

Fantasia Fest

Barefoot loves movies, so much so that it will hold its own in the movie club even as the romantic comedy spinoff from the popular girl Karin wins the group’s vote to become this year’s project. But if things were up to par for Barefoot, he would be churning out his own script, a passionately written ode to classic samurai movies called Spring Samurai. That’s what gets her out of bed in the morning, and it’s what she constantly sees outside of school with her friends Kickstand (a fan of the astronomy club) and Blue Hawaii (a secret romantic comedy fan with excellent Kendo skills. ). Barefoot casual references Zatōichi or Door to hell the way other people her age might talk about Taylor Swift or BTS; she swears her grandmother claimed Ichikawa Raizo as a friend.

Kickstand and Blue Hawaii know this, which is why they can’t let poor Barefoot sit idle for 50 takes of “I can’t hear you / Ich liebe dich !!! ” They hatch a plan to mount a pirate production, scraping together Samurai Spring using some of the other misfits from his school as cast and crew (the 30-year-old looking kid would make a great villain; the punk guy who keeps modifying his bike could probably handle the lighting!). Kickstand can handle the smartphone camera, Blue Hawaii can choreograph the fight scenes, and Barefoot will handle the script and directing. The goal? Usurp Karin shlock (“A movie should be able to say I love you without words, say it too many times, and it goes avant-garde,” says Barefoot) trading its movie for a surprise screening of its own in the big year. -final club festival.

Commercial

There is only one tiny trouble: Samurai Spring you need the right potential client, someone who may be vulnerable other strong (and “hot too”, as Barefoot’s friends remind him). Luckily, Barefoot and Kickstand have noticed a newer kid at school named Rintaro, who is pretty to the point that even Barefoot can’t deny it. It takes an exaggerated effort to convince him, but the young now actor reluctantly agrees to be the clay of Barefoot’s exquisite samurai vision. It’s just … something’s a little weird about that. Never heard of Netflix? Never had a marshmallow before?

  • From left to right: Blue Hawaii, Barefoot and Kickstand, enjoying an after school screening of samurai.

    Fantasia Fest

  • Karin, you hack.

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  • Barefoot and company. They round out their production with the likes of Daddy Boy, who has a reputation for looking like he’s 30 despite being in high school.

    Fantasia Fest

  • Rintaro does it certainly look at the part.

    Fantasia Fest

  • Barefoot running the show on set.

    Fantasia Fest

  • Kickstand proves to be quite a capable cinematographer.

    Fantasia Fest

  • Barefoot, of course, has to take his new lead actor on a crash course in the genre.

    Fantasia Fest

  • I am an absolute fan of kids who love DIY productions and AV Club, see also Strange things or The Espookys.

    Fantasia Fest

  • Barefoot’s Notebook: ADIDAS, I dream of samurai all day.

    Fantasia Fest

  • Um, wait, what’s this hologram video chat thing? Did I miss the detail that this movie is set in the future?

    Fantasia Fest

More movies need samurai nuances

I was in love with It’s a summer movie! almost immediately. Writer-director Sôshi Masumoto has taken the genres or social subcultures he’s (allegedly) in love with and crafted a debut film that lovingly combines them in clever ways. This is an ode to nerdy movies, teen movies, romantic comedies, media clubs, a great sci-fi subgenre that I try hard not to spoil. The script is great, packed with enough breadcrumbs for every second and third act of development to land as a surprise, but not a total surprise. Masumoto’s writing is perhaps a real-life analog to the blood, sweat, and tears that Barefoot puts into Samurai Spring inside the movie. (He is only the latest filmmaker to start making music videos and commercials just to seize his first full-length opportunity; see also Andrew Patterson with The vastness of the night and Aneesh Chaganty with Searching.)

If “ode to the genre” sends chills to your “Uh oh, I’ve seen Ready Player One“Spine, however, fear not. It’s a summer movie! it has real characters and an engaging story plus all the references to Shintaro Katsu. The friendship between Barefoot, Kickstand and Blue Hawaii will bring to mind other great female friendship adventures, such as Smart booking or Whip It! They accept each other for who they are, even if they acknowledge each other’s shortcomings or weaknesses, and sometimes they have to act in conflict. Barefoot herself (played by Marika Itô) may initially seem like an annoying counterculture by choice, but she (and Itô’s performance) is incredibly genuine. This is a young woman who feels more and more comfortable with her skin. Barefoot discusses themes and motifs from his beloved samurai stories with a depth that shows it’s not about someone trying on a Nine Inch Nails shirt for style points (and those ideas help viewers who are less familiar with that canon to appreciate the shapes It’s a summer movie! echoes at the end).

Ars at Fantasia Fest

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There are a series of sequences that I will describe for weeks for anyone who is willing to listen. The (inevitable) final samurai fight happens in such an organic yet appropriate way for these school film directors. The glimpses of Karin’s teen-written romantic comedy remain consistently hilarious. And I’m still a fan of the AV Club’s kid-centric pop culture making their way through hiccups, which Barefoot and co. I find a lot of. (Her turn as a director in Fincher’s style in particular is charming.)

Almost immediately after finishing It’s a summer movie! It became so easy to imagine some deep-pocketed American producer finding out about this, buying adaptation rights, and making a remake in English. Closing my eyes, I saw Emma Stone around Easy one in the lead role, and maybe the central movies would be switched to “science fiction” instead of “samurai.” That’s basically what happened to The blame (Coming to Netflix this fall with Jake Gyllenhaal!), So there’s no problem. But this original movie is as endearing and fun as it is, I hope it hits a streaming service with a massive subscriber base before 2022. I.In the meantime, can anyone schedule this movie as part of an Alamo Drafthouse themed month or something? Where are you, Neon and A24?

It’s a summer movie! recently screened as part of the 2021 hybrid edition of the great Fantasia Fest genre event. The film is in theaters in Japan, but continues on the festival circuit elsewhere, including the JAPAN CUTS 2021 event where it is VOD available until September 2. The most up-to-date availability can probably be found at the film’s official website (note that it is in Japanese with no language option, but you can always try google translator).

Fantasia Fest listing image

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