|Index||4 reviews in total|
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Haunting imagery, visual poetry..., 29 July 2012
Author: johnbirch-2 from Letchworth, England
Very arty, yes, but somehow captures the imagination - not least to
wonder what its trying to say. The use of snippets of music and
dialogue from a number of British films of the past 50 or so years -
from the Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Lord of the Flies, and
Walkabout and even perhaps Master and Commander ("Fantasia on a Theme
by Thomas Tallis") sets up that slightly disturbing feeling of vague
recognition and hunting around in the memory.
When coupled with the images it creates a dream-like state, with hints of things half-seen, half-heard and half-remembered. A dream that goes from calm to nightmare to arrival and awakening?
Others may be another interpretation entirely.
Swimmer, 22 February 2013
Author: mike-lloydy from United Kingdom
You are asked to put yourself in a dream and you are the swimmer. As
you swim through the waterways of Britain you overhear what is being
talked about and happening on the shore.
It is beautifully shot and if you allow it to, it can take you with it as you swim quietly along canals and rivers until you meet some boys. The "dream" could be seen as a nightmare at this point, but as with all dreams you either wake up or things turn out well. It helps if you are aware of this before you watch it, so you can wind down for a few minutes and drift away on a strange journey. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
You get from it what you bring to it..., 25 July 2012
Author: Jack Keane from United Kingdom
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I caught a late night broadcast of this film on BBC2 last night (which, to readers of this in the future, was a few days before the start of the 2012 London Olympics), and might never have bothered with recording it to watch it later, if it weren't for the single sentence Radio Times used to describe the film. The sentence was this: "Film by the director of We Need To Talk About Kevin." And that was all I needed to hear. If you've seen WNTTAK, you'll know what I'm talking about, as that film is pretty much perfect - a finely crafted, nightmarish, intense, economically made, utterly brilliantly brilliant film. So when I saw that this short film was directed by Lynne Ramsay, I was in. So what's "The Swimmer" like, then? At first glance, it's rather arty. Shot in black and white, lots of slow motion, no particularly clear story being told? It all sounds a bit pretentious, doesn't it? But what I found was that in the film's minuscule running time, it successfully managed to create for itself a story, made up of nothing more than wordless images, music and snatches of dialogue from British films of long ago. This again sounds increasingly arty-farty, but it worked for me. The music picked for this film is eclectic, but when stitched together in this context, it somehow works. From the theme to "Lord of the Flies" (the original 60's film of which is given much love to), and some of John Barry's score from "Walkabout", to an old recording of "The Very Thought of You," a poignant usage of Vaughn Williams' "Fantasia" music, and even that music they used in the trailers for "Prometheus" (no, really!), together they all provide the film with some semblance of understanding the mindset of the man who swims. Meanwhile, the words spoken are never from The Swimmer himself, so we don't know why he's swimming, or where he's swimming to. We can only imagine it for ourselves, and the dialogue and random sound-bites pinched from films of old helps nudge us toward our own conclusions about what it is we've just watched here. The black-and-white photography is worth an especial mention, too, as it is just extraordinarily exquisite. Switching regularly from normal to slow-motion, and using many Steadicam techniques, it almost looks a lot of the time as if The Swimmer is certainly swimming forwards, and yet isn't moving at all. (Perhaps this is the point after all?) All of which brings me to the point made in this (ridiculously long) review's title. If you ever see this film, you will either love it, or loathe it. If you love it, you love it for the photography, direction, soundtrack, and its adoration for classic British cinema. If you loathe it, you loathe it for its really really slow pace (almost meditative), its lack of plot, its avant-garde-iness, and its surface pretension. Either way, whatever you bring to it when watching this, that will be what you get back by the film's end...
3 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Swimming is dull., 26 June 2012
Author: Jonathan_S2 from London, United Kingdom
Seen as part of the London 2012 Festival programme of four short films,
together with Max and Dania's What If?, Asif Kapadia's The Odyssey and
Mike Leigh's A Running Jump.
Marvel as a swimmer's arm breaks the water, sending out a cascade of shiny droplets. Watch the reed-beds drift by in artful black and white. Hear fragments from British films of years long gone by. Lynne's Ramsay's film is one of those shorts which just isn't short enough. With no discernible narrative and far too much lingering on the play of light on water, The Swimmer is a reminder that however dull going for a swim at your local pool may be, sometimes doing lengths can still be a more interesting way to spend time than being sat in a cinema.
If this had been a 5 minute loop in a room at the Tate Modern, the visuals would have been enough to justify its existence. Stretched to a half hour film, the best I can say is it offers an opportunity to snooze in between the other three far more interesting films it's showing with.
|External reviews||Official site||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|