“10:30 PM Summer” is a 1966 film which centres on Maria, an alchoholic, who goes on a Spanish road trip with her husband Paul, their daughter and a friend, Claire. There is a terrible thunderstorm and they are forced to stay overnight in an overcrowded hotel in a small village. Whilst there, they learn that there has been a murder and that the murderer is on the loose. In the middle of the night, Maria goes out to wander the streets alone and discovers the murderer and helps him to escape. The next day, Maria, Paul, Claire and the daughter continue on their journey.
Unfortunately, the film was not well received when it was released in 1966, with some critics accusing it of being “pretentious” and “obscure”, and subsequently it has become forgotten. Unfairly so, in my view. The film is neither obscure nor pretentious: it is in fact very well crafted, using inference rather than portrayal to tell it’s tale.
The purpose of this analysis is to state what the character literally does as simply as possible, not embellish it or spin it, but state it simply, and so give ourselves clarity. From there, we may find the character’s Super-objective, and so draw a conclusion about how to play the character; which actions to choose, scene-by-scene, beat-by-beat.
So, what does Maria literally do?
– she plays singing games with her daughter.
– she encourages her husband to have an affair with their friend Claire.
– she’s gets drunk.
– she leaves her party in the hotel and wanders the city streets late at night.
– she helps the murderer escape.
– she herself engages in an affair with Claire.
– she’s gets drunk.
– she dreams (there is a dream sequence).
– she tells Paul that she doesn’t love him anymore, that their relationship is over.
– she gets drunk.
– finally, she commits suicide.
What do all these actions have in common? They are all means of escaping. Maria wants to escape. From what? Her unhappy life with Paul.