Though it never lives up to its impressive opening, "A Passing Summer's Rain" reps a worthwhile third feature by distaff director Tomris Giritlioglu that's of more than passing interest. Literary vignette of a middle-aged novelist's fascination with a beautiful young woman and her troubled past could attract specialized interest offshore.

Though it never lives up to its impressive opening, “A Passing Summer’s Rain” reps a worthwhile third feature by distaff director Tomris Giritlioglu that’s of more than passing interest. Literary vignette of a middle-aged novelist’s fascination with a beautiful young woman and her troubled past could attract specialized interest offshore.

Set in the picturesque, old-style Istanbul ‘burb of Kucuksu at the end of World War II, movie opens with the writer (Ahmet Levendoglu) visited during a summer downpour by a mysterious looker in a red dress (Pitircik Akkerman) who openly flirts with him. Next day, he takes her out, and a strange romance develops, punctuated by the woman’s nightmares of an episode in her youth in which her aunt committed suicide in the family’s burning house.

Revelation that the house is the one in which the writer now lives, plus an ending that suggests the whole thing may have been his fantasy based on a novel he’s penning, is a tad short-storyish. Latter reels are heavy on dream sequences and symbolism for such a flimsy conceit.

Still, playing by the two principals is well balanced, and Giritlioglu turns in a handsome period package, neatly decorated by Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” on the soundtrack.

A Passing Summer's Rain

(TURKISH)

Production

A TRT production. (International sales: TRT, Ankara.) Produced by Nilgun Sagyasar. Directed by Tomris Giritlioglu. Screenplay, Umit Unal, Giritlioglu, from the story by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar. Camera (color), Yavuz Turkeri; editor, Halit Odek; music, Munir Nurettin Beken; art direction, Esat Tekand; costume design, Deniz Ozen. Reviewed at Istanbul Intl. Film Festival, April 12, 1994. Running time: 98 MIN.

With

With: Ahmet Levendoglu, Pitircik Akkerman, Selcuk Yontem, Meral Cetinkaya, Muge Akyamac, Mehmet Guleryuz.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more