Sometimes upon hearing the premise of a film I think ‘This will either be dreadful or amazing….but either way I need to watch it to find out…‘; ‘A Dozen Summers’ certainly falls under this category.
From British writer/director Kenton Hall; this film is described as two 12 year old girls who hi-jack a movie and turn it into a story about their lives. This is an interesting concept in and of itself but also consider the lead roles are played by Hall’s own daughters Scarlet & Hero Hall and Kenton himself plays their father in the film.
The film starts with some wonderfully hilarious voice-over from Colin Baker (of Doctor Who fame) which sets the comedy bar high. Through-out there are various ‘fourth-wall’ moments and references to the many tropes and devices used by film-makers.
One of the greatest tricks in the indie film-makers tool box is to use the resources you have immediately have available and Kenton certainly makes use of this here by casting himself and his two daughters in main roles. He even re-formed his band IST to write some original songs for the score (a very strong effort I might add).
The writing here verges just on the edge of reality but it is scarily real at times; though always with a comical up-ending. Many will find something to relate to in this piece; adults & children alike! I have to say though I found the deliberate ‘DIY’ look to the cinematography here distracting at times.
Whilst I had the feeling this film would drag Kenton manages to keep the momentum through a variety of devices. I think perhaps the best comparison I can draw is to some of Danny Boyle’s work…it has that same hopeful energy and true British indie film spirit. I look forward to seeing more from Hall!
4/5 – ‘Bold, Hopeful British indie comedy/drama at it’s best’
See UK/US DVD release info here.