I was immediately drawn to this 6 minute short because of the cinematography. The entire film takes place beneath the surface of a swimming pool and each shot is clean and beautiful, in stark contrast with the actions of the pool cleaner/bottom dweller. The sound, soundtrack and lighting increase the film's potency (particularly the scenes in which the cleaner opens the gate, 'walks the dog,' and carries the woman through the wall of bubbles, and my favorite, in which the woman first dives into the pool as if she's just burst from a brilliant explosion of light) and Max Von Sydow's narration puts it over the top...though it would have been terrific without.
While the cleaner dons ancient scuba gear and resembles a monster, we can still relate to his problems in a demented sort of way, whether through the image of him beneath those who do manage to stay afloat, his desire to create, the luxury of a comfortable job or the universal desire for companionship. At the heart of matters, though, the cleaner lives beneath the surface and his struggle for happiness, and the fact that happiness achieved actually becomes bothersome, leaves a lasting impression.
This film is out on a DVD entitled 'Short Cinema Journal, 1:2'. If you can find this video, or any others in the series, I recommend you buy it. They have finally allowed me entrance into the world of short film.
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