Summer is here, and with it, emptier streets, fans turned on, ice coffee (or pretty much anything with ice in it), and slow-paced afternoons that go well with something on the screen. In this spirit, we bring you our summer picks so that you can stay entertained and feel refreshed anywhere your feelings may take you, without having to open the door to the heat.
Directed by Michael Mohan, Pink Grapefruit is summer in every sense, only that you might find yourself wishing you were spending yours at the house depicted in this short film, floating in its pool. In Pink Grapefruit, during a weekend away, the main character is set up on a sort of “blind date” by her friends (a slightly older couple) with a man she’s never seen before. They end up liking each other, while their friends follow each of their movements. Mohan, who in 2011 was praised for another short film of a similar nature called Ex-Sex, seems to be a master of expectations as he builds the story with finely-used metaphors and a delicate rhythm. It is only through small gestures that we learn what Pink Grapefruit is actually about.
Our second pick is more of an animated interview than a short, but, either way it will provide you with some great food-for-thought on any laid-back warm day. In this film, which is based on an interview held with Simon Critchley at the Rubin Museum of Art on December 2012, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman talks about happiness. A voice and face we all know for his famous roles in Capote or Owning Mahowny (one of the more critically acclaimed takes on the casino industry from a long list of films that brought the subject into popular culture), Hoffman was perhaps one of the best actors of this century, and also quite a sharp intellect. He proves this by making statements that are even more poignant now that he’s gone, which you will surely write down as they stick with you throughout the whole season. This is one of our favorites: “There’s a period of time in my life where I kind of look back and I think… Was I happy, or was I just not aware?’”
Our third and final choice was the Grand Prize winner at Sundance in 2016. Directed by Jim Cummings, Thunder Road became quite famous because, after making it into the festival, Cummings wrote an open letter to Bruce Springsteen asking Springsteen to permit the use of his homonymous song in the short film because Cummings wasn’t able to pay for the licensing fee. In Thunder Road, a man who has to give a speech at his mother’s funeral starts to break down as his words become increasingly honest and filled with touching memories that tell us much about the relationship they had. With a simple approach based on a 12-minute uncut monologue, this short film, which paved Cumming’s path to Hollywood, will not fail to move you as you sip every last drop of your large-sized, cold drink.