Clara's Summer

Clara's Summer (2004)
Picture This Home Video
Cast: Selma Brook, Stephanie Sokolinski, Leo Grandperret, Salomee Stevenin

The French drama "Clara's Summer", centers itself on two close friends spending a week at summer camp and choosing to use the opportunity to explore their sexuality. Clara (Selma Brook) and Zoe (Stephanie Sokolinski) find themselves involved in disappointing relations with immature young males, which leaves the girls with rather empty overall dating experiences. While the two girls deal with possible feelings toward one another, the tension within their relationship increases after Clara meets a female bi-sexual named Sonia (Salomee Stevenin). Through her curiosity and flirtatious ways, Clara begins to find herself attracted to Sonia, leaving the trio searching for true love and acceptance, while maintaining present friendships.

Picture This! Home Video presents "Clara's Summer" in a 1.85:1 letterboxed presentation that truly lacked the proper depth and feel of a good, polished production. Blacks were presentable, but overall displayed a dark-grey tone at best. Color saturation also appeared a little "washed" which contributed to slightly pale flesh tones and making for a less than stellar production. There were also visible compression artifacts which added to this overall uninspired transfer.

Soundtracks come in the form of a French Dolby Digital 5.1 track or a 2.0 Stereo presentation, both with English subtitles. There was very little offered in the way of dynamic range with vocals sounding quite natural in reproduction. The soundtrack did manage to match the overall presentation, which doesn't say a whole lot for this DVD.

The only extras offered on the DVD of "Clara's Summer", is a selection of theatrical trailers of other features available from Picture This! Entertainment.

Aside from a couple of decent acting attempts, "Clara's Summer" strives a little too much to titillate, but ends up falling flat without any real story or substance. I found this film all over the map, as it can't truly establish what direction it is headed, while producing an almost cheap-looking, home video quality presentation.