SUMMER RETREAT

by Jeff SCHER
2009 / color / sound / 1S / 1' 30

Summer always feels endless until it suddenly ends. For kids, there is no greater tragedy than summer’s end. September is the Monday of months. It’s back to school, back to work and back to the city. It means goodbye to all the lush and gaudy greens of the countryside and a return to the sober monochromes of the city. Summer memories will be distilled to sketchy highlights and photos downloaded to rarely visited computer folders.

The last drive home has a special melancholy. The roads and landscapes that had grown so familiar slip past for the last time, turning into memories before your eyes. It will all feel a million miles away the moment you get home, and yet there it is flickering past your window, a stream of instant nostalgia.

I have tried here to recreate the emotions of this ride. Interspersed with the driving are little vignettes of summer pleasures, like hasty glimpses into a rear view mirror. Shay Lynch’s score provides a kind of exquisite sadness for the summer retreat.

This is a bookend to my film “Welcome Back” from earlier this year. The images were drawn with a mix of oil pastels and watercolor. The oil pastel was wonderful to smudge into the blurs of the passing foliage and watercolor is my favorite medium for painting the optical effects of water. To set off the greens and give the feeling of an overcast day, I left the sky the color of the paper. While I am usually a one-man band making these films, I had the luxury of two assistants on this one, my former students from N.Y.U.; a big thank you to William Hopper and Harry Teitelman.

1 PRINT IN DISTRIBUTION


distribution format Digital file on server
screen 16/9 (single screen)
speed 25 fps
sound sound
rental fee 19,00 €