My exams are over now, and the freedom of summer is slowly sinking in. It’s time to watch movies of flowery frocked teens munching strawberries in fields on the outskirts of civilisation, wild water dipping and tossing shades to the wild grass. These images of summer trickle in and begin to replace the world of word counts and wooden lecture theatres. But what is this concept framed by a vignette of endlessly sunny days, and what’s it doing to how we live our summer?
There is a sort of summer film which somehow manages to capture a stereotypical beauty – a way of thinking about these months. Milling about doing nothing but sliding sunnies back up your nose, flicking through some tea stained pages and toying with some tapas. Even wandering through deserted streets where even the half stunted sprouting of weeds seems aesthetically pleasing. How undoubtedly lovely it is to watch love blossom like a daisy opening its doors for the day. Or the cobbled streets and fountains streaming from the mouths of ancient Greek statues. Mostly nothing much happens. Just life unravelling itself under the sun. I’ve started to really enjoy watching these slow paced films of summer just for the sheer sake of inhabiting its idleness.
But it’s no surprise if your summer doesn’t look like Call Me By Your Name, either in landscape or love. Musked and mysterious libraries filled with the unknown, frolicking through the Italian countryside, whimsically sipping coffee in a café by the side of the road. Sure, it sometimes might look like this, but the concept of this quintessentially film-like European summer often feels very much different to the long days frustrated by flies, sweat and the hearty promise of boredom. Whilst these films do encompass a certain summer aesthetic - loved, craved and known by so many - it can make some slump over in a sort of sadness over England's rainy May days.
There is as much wonder and escapism in these films as there is frustration. It isn’t all glitter and gold under the threads of bright blue water. Most of us would probably have to swap the life of shades and champagne for shirts and a waiting tray. Working internships or cracking down in a retail job until you form a special attachment to the AC, especially if you're rationing on those student loans. However dreamy this idea of summer is, it’s not quite a reality. Neither these loitering movies of strawberry ice cream nor the wilder ones with way too many turns of excitement and experimentation. I guess they never quite reflect the struggles of a crumpled paper fan on the bus to work. Life over summer is sometimes nothing like crossing over to endless adventures of romance and thrills, a My Summer of Love type trope, but I guess that’s the beauty in both these whimsical, untouched and slightly far fetched movies of pure idealism.
Whether it’s ice creams by Rome’s Trevi fountain or Pimm’s by a spluttering barbeque, there are so many ways to experience these youthful months of beating sunshine. I hope you enjoy them in whatever way you can!
Anisha Minocha is studying English and Spanish at the University of St Andrews. She is a passionate writer and poet whose work has been published in anthologies, magazines, blogs and won competitions. Contributing to Sink Magazine, she is keen to utilise the voice of young people and share work through her creative writing blog. As a climate activist, she has combined her love for words and the planet in a performance of spoken word at the Royal Exchange Theatre in 'Letters to the Earth'. She also co-runs Young Friends of the Earth: Manchester and has organised workshops, participated in panels and spoken at Manchester Cathedral.
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