Maybe you’re stuck babysitting, you’ve broken your leg in a Frisbee golfing accident or it’s just too darn hot to venture far from the AC but here are a few flicks that will bring the summer into your living room.
‘Whoa there, a little political for a sunny day’ I hear you say. Well maybe, but this is a compelling film, rich in character and substance. That it just so happens to take place on a sizzling hot Brooklyn day is a bonus. Spike Lee’s set designer used lots of red and orange paint to heighten the sense of overbearing heat that helps to fray everyone’s nerves and intensify underlying racial tensions.
Maybe it’s because I was a kid in the late 80s but I always appreciate the hum of nostalgia that runs through Joe Dante’s films. This is also a damn funny movie, especially for anyone who grew up in the suburbs and recognises the stereotypes on display here. The scene where neighbourhood buffoon Art talks about Skip, the soda jerk/ mass murderer during a heat wave is also quietly but effectively creepy.
A Hitchcock favorite. The use of a giant dolls house-style set was very innovative.Windows and doors stay open throughout the film and the air stagnates to amplify any noises. This is so effective because it takes that one corner of the world that is your sanctuary, your home, and slowly strips back any feelings of privacy and security to leave it totally exposed. Pretty much confirms all those suspicions about your neighbours too. Heck, that weirdo across the road could be watching you watching the film…
So Hammer & Tongs may have mucked up The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but they atoned delightfully with this tale of childhood film-making and breaking free from family restrictions. This is an English summertime movie so heat isn’t such a factor, but the experience of summer boredom and loneliness is something that no proper British childhood should be without.
The movie that kick-started a string of Ivan Reitman, Harold Ramis and Bill Murray collaborations. While it may not be the chuckle fest expected, it is a lovely rite of passage film from a time before kids depended on electronic devices to entertain them. The joy of food fights, rival chants, stacking races and panty raids make this a nostalgic trip for parents and a window into the past for their kids. That and Bill Murray is the most awesome camp counsellor of all time.
Just my tuppence worth, what are your sweltering day films?