Well, that’s it for another summer. We’re about as happy about it as you are. Which is to say: not very. In the spirit of keeping hearts warm when the weather turns cold we’ve compiled five of our favourite summer films. We went alphabetical because there’s really no separating these things.
And those who actually prefer cold weather? You can shut it, because they’re all damn good films and you should be glad we reminded you of them.
So, you see, everybody wins.
Dazed and Confused
Space is prohibitive so we’re just going to list the actors that didn’t get famous after starring in Richard Linklater’s 1993 coming-of-age film set in Austin, Texas. Actually, we don’t even have to do that. Because it amounts to zero people. And remember: you just gotta keep on livin’, man.
Do the Right Thing
It’s easy to make a case for Spike Lee’s third feature (we’re excluding his student film Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop) being his best. All his signatures are already there. That weird putting-people-on-a-dolly thing he does so much. Recurring actors like Samuel L Jackson, John Turturro, Ossie Davis and, well, himself. Most of all it’s how vividly his beloved Brooklyn is rendered. Sure, it might be hard to relate to simmering racial tension in Bedford-Stuyvesant all the way over in Australia but that’s what makes it great.
So many quintessential summer movies are coming-of-age movies. And Bruce Beresford’s 1981 Puberty Blues is the quintessential quintessence of an Australian one. You’re either going to cringe at it or be nostalgic for it but—either way—it captures something essential about what it is to be young in Australia.
You didn’t think you were going to get away with just watching movies made after the ’80s did you? And though a 1954 Hitchcock film set entirely in one apartment might sound like a snooze—boy oh boy is it not. Outside of the suspense and a generous amount of humour (something Hitch doesn’t seem to get enough credit for) it’ll make you glad you were able to get out during summer rather than cooped up in a Greenwich Village apartment with a broken leg during a sweltering New York summer. Plus, you get to stare at Grace Kelly or James Stewart for 112 minutes. Or both. You know, whatever you’re into.
Wet Hot American Summer
Though this list is alphabetical the best may have ended up being last. If you know it you love it (and are most likely a big comedy nerd). Wet Hot made $295,206 in its theatrical run. So, you know, not a hit. But it has become a cult classic and launched the careers of Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks and Amy Poehler. A comedy set at a Jewish summer camp, it doesn’t try to do anything but be funny. It features the best montage sequence ever set to film and the best movie credit ever. Namely: H Jon Benjamin as Mixed Vegetables.