A film that defies classification, transporting the viewer into a crescendo of implacable tension
Jane Birkin sings goodbye to “the summer of love”
Behind its sumptuous presentation (Cinemascope, an absorbing soundtrack, the garish colours of contemporary British fashion) lies a film that depicts a situation of disorientation like few others. The disorientation not only concerns the main character, who finds himself in a strange environment full of corruption, hypocrisy, conflict and violence (including gang rape), but also the viewer, confronted by film that is difficult to classify, as it moves from one genre to another without ever committing itself, while slowly building up the implacable tension. However it may be seen, “the summer of love” is a chimera. The film was actually shot in Oxford University; it has a certain documentary value, as it shows student life in those years, with its strong traditions and youthful unrest. The cast boasts the presence of Jane Birkin, fresh from the scandal of success that was her duet “Je t’aime… moi non plus” with Serge Gainsbourg.
Thanks to some acquaintances, Italian student Valerio manages to obtain a place at Oxford University. The strict new environment doesn’t suit the young man, who gets noticed for his arrogant attitude. The situation soon becomes unbearable and Valerio is expelled. A crescendo of misunderstandings and violence leads to a serious crime.