Summer Long

24/02/2020 By Rodrigo R

By Vincent Schou

 

 

5 am. Boston. Summer.
Streets, deserted.  He waits impatiently by the gas station.
Pacing every undulation of the sidewalk, he clasps a worn-out
turquoise Freitag bag. In it, his only meaningful possession, a
never alone MacBook Air, hugs his waist. The sole companion in
his endless wanderlust.
Finally, a tired taxi saunters in.
“Can you take me to JFK?”
“Huh?  The airport?  Like, New York?”
His eyes saturated with urgency, “Yes, I’ll pay you, cash!”
“Listen, my shift is over and I’m just trying to get home… Get
some sleep…  Plus its 4 hours, nonstop!”
“I’m so sorry, but this is the only way to catch the earliest flight out.
I’ve got 40 hours ahead… To see my dad!   For the last time…
He’s in ICU.”

34 days later.
Crack of dawn. Streets deserted again.
Trees contorting, dancing wildly.
It’s the “calm” before the storm. Biggest typhoon to hit the island
in decades, is imminent.
A siren is screaming through, towards a high-rise.
Inside the ambulance, he whispers slowly and clearly, describing
to his dad, where they are.
Tears running down his dad’s face, with a tube protruding from
the dying patient’s throat.  It’s his dad’s last trip home.

For this final ride, he had selected his dad’s favourite clothing,
including a T-shirt with an image of their crowning memory:
Teeing off at Pebble Beach.

 

 

Final moments.
To his surprise, the nurse reinforces, “I cannot do this, YOU have
to be the one…”
Tears streaming down both his and his dad’s face, he repeats his
promises to him and does the unthinkable.
He cradles his dad’s head, staring at the tube he just pulled.
Holding him in his arms, his senses disappear.

Two weeks later, his eldest uncle, patriarch of the clan, reveals a
50-year-old secret.
Despite having a successful business career, creating companies
around the world, his dad started as an actor.  A filmmaking
aspiration derailed because grandma rejected such “dishonour” to
the family.  An iron fist grandma, raising eight children in an
aristocratic clan of lost grandeur, on banana farms…

 

 

This is the birth of Vincent Schou’s first short film: Summer
Long. A film about a second chance, in life.
Shown in a classic boy meets girl setting–with a twist, Vincent
honours his dad’s unexpected sudden death.  He engages
parallels with symbolism, colours, and memorable images;
exploring if his dad’s unfulfilled film passion receives a second
chance, through his son.
Latent is the director’s longing; summer longing, for a father who
was never around.  Nonetheless, a connection binds their souls.
A passion for films, honour, integrity, trust; which manifest upon
dad’s unexpected death, a discovery of a 50-year-old secret.

 

 

Wanderlusting around The Charles River, the boy contemplates
about his perhaps lost love, connection.  Boundless emotions,
punctuated with crisp soulful music, Summer Long establishes a
depth beyond the familiar Dirty Dancing sensory.  Every audience
gets something from this rich soulful short film.  Be it entertaining,
or thought-provoking, Summer Long is a gift that keeps on,
inspiring…