a guide to mourning the end of summer

Cher recently tweeted ‘Was Wondering If We Should HANG ON 2 SUMMER & KEEP DANCING …OR ….SOB OUR WAY INTO FALL’. Below is an unranked list of novels and films that feel inspired by warmth and melancholy to mediate the transition from summer into autumn.




What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) (copyright belongs to Paramount Pictures)

1. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)

‘I want Momma to take aerobics classes. I want Ellen to grow up. I want a new brain for Arnie.’ Peter Hedges’ screenplay showcases Leonardo Dicaprio’s most underrated performance in this family drama.


2. East of Eden (1952), a novel by John Steinbeck

An epic. A descriptive journey into the complex lives of two families set in California.


3. Ask The Dust (1939), a novel by John Fante

‘You pretty town I loved you so much, you sad flower in the sand‘. John Fante’s 1939 masterpiece enlivens a very real sombre summer mood. It takes place in the desert landscape of Los Angeles and brings to life a sense of cultural pessimism of heat and warmth and paradise.



20th Century Women (2016) (copyright belongs to A24 studios)

4. 20th Century Women (2016)

A study into the lives of women who basically live under one roof, all, in their own way, attempt to raise teenage boy Jamie. Set in 1979, it speaks to contemporary and modern issues of feminism and love and freedom.


5. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Toni Collete is always incredible. The score seems to speak to the dysfunctional, dark and beautiful lives of the Hoover family as they journey to California for the Little Miss Sunshine pageant.


6. Norwegian Wood (1987), a novel by Haruki Murakami

Murakami is warm and captivating. This sad adolescent story of love and friendship and emptiness is moving and dreamlike.



Paris, Texas (1984) (copyright belongs to 20th Century Fox)

7. Paris, Texas (1984)

Cinematographer Robby Müller’s fluorescent colours and light transform Wim Wenders’ gripping road movie into something genius.



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