Personally, I think the death of cinema is coming this weekend, as Ryan Reynolds stars in a snarky, meta-comedy video game film. In actuality, rumours of cinema’s demise are both as greatly exaggerated as they are innumerable. Jean-Luc Godard proclaims that cinema is dead roughly once a week for heaven’s sake!
Thus, it’s difficult to take the stakes of Soushi Mastumoto’s It’s a Summer Film seriously in some regards. While young filmmaker Barefoot (Marika Ito) believes that she is making a fun samurai movie with her friends, in actuality she is making a film that will save films in the future, where no one has time for cinema and so now it’s all Vines. Barefoot’s future is foretold by time traveller Rintaro (Daichi Kaneko), who reluctantly agrees to star in Barefoot’s film due to the obvious “will they or won’t they” tension that permeates every scene the two have.
Listen, the real reason I love teen cinema is that the best teen films tap into a primal emotion. The feeling to realizing that you really want something for the first time. And you’ll just about damn near kill yourself to get it. That inherent reality provides Matsumoto with an easy out for the “cinema is dead in the future and only you can save it” stakes. Because in realty, teens would truly treat their DIY samurai epic with the seriousness of curing cancer. This makes it really easy to get into the plights of Barefoot and her ragtag group of friends. Every genre touch, even the annoying rival filmmaker, works. Additionally, that It’s a Summer Film is playing at a Fantasia Film Festival with a Shunji Iwai retrospective is poetic, as there’s a pleasant atmosphere to the film. Do the kids ultimately save the day? Check back Friday.