. . . at 6:45 pm on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 for the captivating Au Revoir L’ete, followed by a Q&A with director Koji Fukada, producer Kiki Sugino and rising star Fumi Nikaido. Three years after his blackly humorous Hospitalité scooped up awards and wowed international audiences, Fukada returns with a charming homage to Eric Rohmer that wears its influence on its colorful sleeve.

Accompanying her aunt to the countryside for a few weeks in the waning days of summer, 18-year-old Sakuko (the beguiling Nikaido, of Himizu fame) meets a variety of local characters, befriends a Fukushima refugee who works part-time at his uncle’s love hotel, and observes the increasingly complicated love lives of her aunt and other adults with growing interest. Leisurely paced and gently comical — but packing an emotional punch or two — Au Revoir L’ete is a ray of summer warmth for a frigid January.

— Karen Severns

(Japan, 2013; 125 min.; in Japanese with English subtitles)