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Laura, les ombres de l'été (1979)

Sculptor Paul meets a former great love again after a long time -- but is much more impressed by her 15-year-old daughter, Laura, who looks like her mother when Paul was in love with her. ... See full summary »


David Hamilton


David Hamilton (story), Joe Morheim (as Joe Morhaim) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Maud Adams ... Sarah
Dawn Dunlap ... Laura
James Mitchell James Mitchell ... Paul Thomas Wyler
Maureen Kerwin ... Marline Royer
Pierre Londiche Pierre Londiche ... Richard Moore
Thierry Redler Thierry Redler ... Costa
Louise Vincent Louise Vincent ... Madame Flory
William Milié William Milié ... Le chorégraphe (as William Millie)


Sculptor Paul meets a former great love again after a long time -- but is much more impressed by her 15-year-old daughter, Laura, who looks like her mother when Paul was in love with her. Laura likes him very much too, but her jealous mother prevents any further contact. She allows him to make a sculpture of Laura, but only from photos. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

28 November 1979 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Laura, Shadows of a Summer See more »

Filming Locations:


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Did You Know?


The movie never got a theatrical release in the USA. It was eventually released on cable television stateside during the mid-1980s. See more »

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User Reviews

As long as you don't expect more than photography...
30 November 2004 | by przgzrSee all my reviews

I agree more or less with all the comments sent so far. This might be surprising, because they seem to be so different. But they are sent from different points of view, and if you try to make a resume, you'll see how it all fits well. Let's make an example: "Glengarry Glen Ross" (or some similar indoor drama) can be described as perfect deep (by drama lovers) or terribly unwatchable slow boring movie (by action lovers); great example how a masterpiece can be made without a single female role (artistic purist statement), or a glorifying men in business and so neglecting women (a feminist statement) or even a pointless flick with no chicks to look at (a macho statement); a movie where authors bravely use words that people use in reality, or a blasphemy with an obscene language that would fit only in NC-17 movie.

I admire and adore Hamilton's work as a photograph. But, yes, being a genius in one art doesn't automatically mean you can make masterpieces in other arts (Barbara Streissand is an exemption). Some great movie photographers made movies (like Nykvist), but they learned job with people like Tarkovsky. Hamilton made only still pictures, and this is what he does best. I think making movies was not a bad idea, but he should have made them as a photographer and leave directing to a professional. Then he could have avoided some real mistakes described in earlier comments. But I wouldn't be too strict. If you don't expect too much his movies won't disappoint you. Of course, if you don't accept nudity, this is not a movie for you, but such audience knows they should avoid Hamilton's work in general. People who believe showing nude young bodies is a sin are entitled to their opinions; but if you believe such a movie could induce child molestation, you should also ban all crime movies, thrillers (not to mention horrors), movies where people smoke, eat fast food, hurt each other in any way, appear in dangerous situations (most adventure movies from Tom Sawyer and Tarzan to Indiana Jones) etc. - such behaving can also be imitated, even more dangerously (there is no violence in Hamilton's movies!). And a man who can't tell reality from a movie is a psychopath who will cross the line of crime sooner or later regardless the movies he watches.

Back to Laura and Hamilton. In Laura he made probably his most beautiful scenes, like Laura going out from the sea, and the opening sequences are his typical. And the scene some don't like, some find controversial, when Laura dances and her mother takes pictures, is a real homage to photography as art. It is an artist-model and not a mother-daughter relation. With a photo (or pencil, or canvas) in his hand an artist leaves his real world, stops being a member of family, race, nation, he creates a new world. Here Hamilton gives us a short lesson of making photos, feeling the light (Hamilton's strongest tool), lines, movements. If a picture paints a thousand words this scene saves a million words if you want to make a documentary about Hamilton himself. And this is where I agree with some of earlier comments, his work talks enough, he should stay behind camera. No words. Less directing.

A film, though with weak script and much too big oscillations in directing, was saved by great acting and again (like in Bilitis) by perfect music. For Hamilton fans - don't expect "La Dance" or "Dreams of a Young Girl", but you'll like it. The others, if not too easily offended, probably won't turn the TV off, but it's also very likely they won't remember it too long.

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