Laura, les ombres de l'été

Laura, les ombres de l'été
Dawn Dunlap

Dawn Dunlap

Screen Time: 65%
Role: Laura
Age: 16 years old


Laura, les ombres de l'été

Laura en de meisjes (Belgium), Laura, Shattered Innocence (USA), Die Geschichte der Laura M (Germany)
Rating: 8.86 (7 votes)
Directed: David Hamilton
Country: France
Language: French
Genre: Drama, Romance


James Mitchell plays Paul Wyler, a successful sculptor best known for sculpting nude young girls. When he encounters an old flame, Sarah (Maud Adams), he is so smitten by her beautiful daughter Laura that he asks Sarah if she will pose for him.

Sarah, married but still jealous of the fact that her former lover is more attracted to her daughter, tells Paul that Laura is not interested, even though she is actually quite enthusiastic about doing it. As an alternative to live posing, Sarah takes photos of Laura posing nude and gives them to Paul so that he can sculpt Laura.

After a fire at an art exhibit, though, Paul goes blind and cannot complete the sculpture. In the end, Laura, when going to say goodbye to Paul, allows him to sculpt the remainder of the scultpure by feeling Laura's body and sculpting by feeling. This leads to an sensual encounter between the two, and the next morning Laura's mother comes to take her away.

Movie Reviews

The Clever Touch

Sometimes a movie can be merely about its images, like this one. The story can be about the images too.

I was very impressed with the way vignettes were composed. Rather lovely, most of them except for the annoying fade to black at the end of each and every one. To appreciate this, or rather to not be offended, I suppose you have to accept that the female form is appealing, and accept that a young girl can initiate an affair with an older man.

Besides the appeal of the balletgirls and the way they are displayed, there's the story.

It isn't much of one, surely insufficient for most commentors, and the fact that it is so slight seems to rile them a bit, as indication that the nudity was all that mattered.

But the elements of the story that do exist are what I call "folding." Usually the purpose of folding is to place the viewer in the movie, and that's the case here.

We have an artist in the writer/director who represents young girls in the nude. He and we have a surrogate on-screen, in a character who is an artist (a sculptor) and represents young girls in the nude. The titular Laura is a dancer, inviting viewers.

So far, the fold is ordinary. By the thinnest of plot devices, our sculptor goes blind after starting a sculpture of Laura. So she offers to be the model, allowing him to caress her on every part, sufficiently to make a clay copy, which he similarly caresses. She, meanwhile has a crush on him and seduces him during this process.

See the fold? We not only get to look but touch, and that touch is returned.

No, ma'am that's not a slight story. No, not at all.

~ Ted from Films Folded