Summer In The City

Oh, all those wonderful things the summertime brings: short shorts and crop tops, sunshine and lollypops…

For those in the city however, the experience can be sticky, suffocating & claustrophobic. A summer in the city can sometimes evoke a subtle insanity upon us.


In the 1954 Hitchcock classic ‘Rear Window’, the residents in the Greenwich apartment blocks are overcome by a severe heatwave. Photographer ‘L.B Jeffries’ (James Stewart) bides his time observing the habits of his neighbours through his lens as he sits immobile with a cast over his broken leg. Seeking some respite from the high temperature, the residents open their windows and curtains, and we as the audience revel in the voyeurism that our protagonist draws himself deeper into.

In 1949, Akira Kurosawa released the Japanese Noir ‘Nora Inu’ (Stray Dog). The film, shot amidst a stifling heatwave in post-war Tokyo follows a rookie Homicide Detective (A young Toshiro Mifune) who goes to all-encompassing lengths to retrieve his Colt pistol that was stolen from him on a train ride to work. The search leads our protagonist through back streets and seedy sections of the city, until his obsession with catching the culprit turns him into the mind of a stray dog.


The borough of Brooklyn NYC is a colourful mish-mash of language and culture. In 1989 director Spike Lee demonstrated how racial divide, inequality and one stinking hot day can bring tension to boiling point. ‘Do The Right Thing’ uses the backdrop of summer in the city to lay the foundations for the climatic finale. There is little or no escape from the heat; youngsters pry open a fire hydrant in the street, older folks sit by the window sill.


Indeed, in the summer the city can be a bitch…

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