Blanco de Verano
starring Adrián Rossi, Sophie Alexander-Katz, Fabián Corres
written by Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson & Raúl Sebastián Quintanilla
directed by Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson
by Walter Chaw Aspiring for something like The 400 Blows with a young protagonist who looks and acts like 15-year-old Jean-Pierre Léaud, Rodrigo Ruiz Patterson's directorial debut Summer White seeks to explain the pain and occasional outbursts of a young man coming of age without the means to express himself. The film's style lies somewhere at the intersection of early Harmony Korine and Ken Loach: it's aggressively not-showy--so devoted to its austerity and so accomplished in achieving it, in fact, that its aesthetic humility becomes a kind of distraction. It looks beautiful. Maybe too beautiful. It looks like an Y Tu Mamá También while acting like a Ratcatcher or a Kes, and reconciling that dissonance begins to feel difficult. In the end, what disappoints most about Summer White is that I started to question whether the film wanted to be something for its own sake or if it was just something done by someone who'd seen a few Linda Manz movies and thought she was really great. I mean, she is, of course. Linda Manz is awesome.