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Monday, September 27, 2004

And Then Came Summer.

DVD reviewed by Duane Simolke for This Week In Texas

Jeff London wrote, produced, and directed this simple but touching story about gay love and the many ordeals that gay teens face. Anyone who ever felt different or rejected should enjoy this film.

Cameron Cutler directed the photography, and the peaceful, coastal environment creates a counterpoint to the internal struggles that two teenage boys face as they realize how they feel about each other. The DVD’s extras, however, reveal how the movie’s settings resulted largely from London’s lack of budget. The interviews show his great enthusiasm, shared by his actors, to make this little film happen. The film’s alternate beginning, also included, would have provided more foreshadowing, but I liked slowly discovering the backgrounds of the characters.

Some of the actors give somewhat wooden performances at first, but London manages to draw more emotion from them as the tensions escalate. I wish I could say the same for The Last Year, a movie London directed and produced, but that movie’s plague of bad acting ruins a strong screenplay by Russ Williams. Jeff London deserves great actors, and a better budget.