What Ozon strives for is to break down the viewers and put those pieces of them together in the right order. The director uses a two-act structure which is schematically similar to a positive parabola. The development of events, however impetuous it might seem, occurs according to a simple life logic — first love always tightens deeper because it seems to be infinite. We fall in love with David, as well as Alex: we adore his style of dress, the ability to find positive moments around him, the everlasting smile, and philosophical reflections. This charming 18-year-old boy becomes an ideal for the main character and for us, although we know him no longer than twenty minutes.
The parallel with Call Me by Your Name (2017)
by Luca Guadagnino is obvious. This comparison is ideologically supported by Ozon himself who made the trailer full of romantic shots. It cannot be labeled as deceiving because the atmosphere and settings of the stories overlap indeed: summer vacations, first feelings, disappointments, and attempts to live on. But the french version puts emphasis not on the sincerity of feelings, but on their deceptive nature. "We make up those we love" is an important and already proven thesis of this story which allows us to look at the world not so charmingly, but no less in love.
The integrity and spirit of the times are created with the help of music, and in Summer'85 it is not just a background. Many directors are striving to use a soundtrack not for the glamour of a scene but to convey a specific message, perhaps even some clearly formulated idea through it. The task is really difficult. Ozon's music is as authentic as possible, which also distinguishes his work from Guadagnino's film. Summer'85 was originally supposed to be called Summer'84. Everything has changed because of one song which was released a year after. The frontman of The Cure, Robert Smith, did not agree to sell the rights to the song In Between Days
until creators renamed the film.
by Rod Stewart is an even more important composition. Its text not only reflects the plot of the film but also evokes the image of David as a savior. Plus, it gives us a hint to his intentions when he unexpectedly puts headphones on Alexi at the disco. At that moment they become close, but their movements are no longer synchronized. This is a demonstration of the obvious barrier between young men — they see love in different ways. Ozon has always succeeded in the combination of music and visuals — 8 Women
is made from music clips.