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Saturday, September 22, 2012

High Season (1988)

A group of disparate characters come together on the Greek island of Rhodes during the height of the tourist season: a photographer (Jacqueline Bisset) and her husband (James Fox) though separated have lived on the island for many years, a young Greek (Paris Tselios) turns the family cheese shop into a souvenir shop for tourists against the wishes of his widowed mother (Irene Papas), a British civil servant (Kenneth Branagh) ostensibly on vacation with his sow of a wife (Lesley Manville) has an ulterior motive for being on the island, an art historian (Sebastian Shaw), a wealthy Greek-American millionaire (Robert Stephens) and Bisset's daughter (Ruby Baker) complete the list. The first feature film by the writer Clare Peploe (who happens to be married to the director Bernardo Bertolucci) is an elated fresh comedy with several twists and turns that manages to be both witty and poignant simultaneously. The harmonious cinematography by Chris Mendes (an Oscar winner for THE MISSION) is a work of art whether it's the glowing Greek seascapes or Bissett radiating in the moonlight. The acting is first rate with a strong performance by Shaw and what a treat to see the great tragedienne Papas doing comedy. A real jewel which is criminally under seen.

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