Sometimes what you watch is largely dictated by the mood you're in. To that end, we're ready to suggest some films for when...(insert a situation here). Some we may have screened and some we may plan to; so stay tuned! In this edition, a film for when...You Just Want to Go Back to Summer Camp.
This 1993 film was shot on location at the traditional Jewish summer Camp Tamakwa. Following a format not too different from The Big Chill (which was written and directed by 2016 AJFF Icon Lawrence Kasdan), a group of former campers return to their summer retreat as adults, reflecting on their friendships and how much they've changed. Written and directed by Jewish filmmaker Mike Binder, who himself attended Camp Tamakwa in his youth, the film features an all-star cast including Alan Arkin, Diane Lane, Bill Paxton, Elizabeth Perkins, Kevin Pollak, Sam Raimi, and Kimberly Williams, among others.
Why Do We Recommend It?
Honestly, it's just a feeling. Summer camp has its own je ne sais quoi, as Roger Ebert said in his review, "rituals have been performed by the end of the film, but curiously enough, the movie isn't really about what happens. It's about how it feels. This is a story more interested in tone and mood than in big plot points." The film trades in sweet sincerty, the kind that lives in kids' (and adults') camp memories. Even the lighting reflects a palette of sentimentality, bathing almost every frame in nostalgic hues. "The film has been photographed with that slightly golden tinge currently favored for movies about good times past," noted The New York Times.
Watch the Film With: All the s'mores you can find.