A list of Edgar Wright's favorite 1000 Movies per his list on Mubi on July 27th, 2016.
When you talk about "The Swimmer" will you talk about yourself?
Neddy Merrill has been away for most of the Summer. He reappears at a friend's pool. As they talk, someone notices that there are pools spanning the entire valley. He decided to jog from pool to pool to swim the whole valley. As he stops in each pool his interactions tell his life story.
I just cannot get over how much I love The Swimmer.
Especially the opening.
I remember seeing it for the first time. I could sense that I was in for something special. I just knew I was about to fall madly in love.
The fluidity of that camera!
The lightness of Lancaster’s step that stands in juxtaposition to the strength of his body. He’s old and young at once. There's something curious about his movements, like a boy who’s exploring the last summer of his childhood. A new day has begun, and it is begging to be discovered with all senses.
But something’s looming over those woods, something in the air feels off, a darkness that's following him like the…
The opening shot pans over luscious green trees to reveal the youthful looking back of a man diving into a rich blue swimming pool. Burt Lancaster emerges out the over end, tanned, lean and defying every bit of his 55 years. He spends every minute of the film wearing nothing but his swimming trunks, looking great and knowing it, an appearance that ripples away as easily as the pools he dives into.
Journeying with Ned through the connecting hills of white upper middle-class suburbia lifts the lid on those who seem to have it all. Broken marriages, secret lovers, racism and shallow parenting lie buried underneath a glittering veneer of expense.
At times it's a strange and surreal approach used…
As a pointed commentary on "modern living" (b/w some sly scuttlebutt about the gulf between haves and have-nots), as a sympathetic yet unflinching depiction of a man's misspent life, as an embodiment of his fractured delusions, as a cautionary tale about the poisonous allure of nostalgia, as a possibly accidental case of form mirroring function (cf. the mismatched cuts serving to reflect Merrill's addled state of mind), and most definitely as a testament to Burt Lancaster's ability to simultaneously embody virility and vulnerability, this film is 99.99.99% perfect.
I'm not a huge fan of Burt Lancaster. If you were ask me why, I wouldn't really have an answer. He doesn't annoy me, I have no complaints about his acting, he looks okay in swimming trunks(This is off topic, but I'd love to see Lancaster from this film and Kirk Douglas from The Fury (1978) battle it out). I have nothing bad to say about him and, yet, I dunno, I'm just not feeling it.
I say this quite often but for someone who has seen thousands of films, I still have a glaring gap in my viewing. I had not seen The Swimmer before nor did I really have any knowledge about it, apart from my husband telling…
The Swimmer is a film often cited as being 'surreal', yet I've always thought that was a pretty easy catch-all term for a film that is actually not that surreal at all.
It's strange, certainly, but I think that a lot about films made around this era. The late 1960s are a period of film that fascinate me, caught in a semi-limbo between Hays Code restrictions and straining at the leash to portray something more adult and free. The Swimmer feels like that too - sexually expressive but not explicit, taboo teasing but never baiting. It's an odd film that, arguably, fits its time better than it would fit any other time in cinema history.
Any semblance of surreality here…
The Swimmer is a bewitchingly hallucinatory experience, which starts off as a fun adventure and progresses into a character unravelling step by step and pool by pool to the point of disintegration.
Burt Lancaster is magnetic and searing in a phenomenal performance, and pulls off a film spent entirely in his swimming trunks.
Through Lancaster, The Swimmer evolves into a terrible souring of the American dream. A very 60s revelatory experience with an echo that wont leave your mind.
I'm a very special human being. Noble and splendid.
La disintegrazione di un ego, una piscina alla volta.
Sometimes a simple, colorful (literally and plot-wise) metaphor for life and a great leading man are more than enough.
"YOU LOVED IT!"
Ned Merril appears, after a long absence, at a friend's pool. As they talk, he discovers there is a "river" of pools spanning the entire valley. He decides to pass each and swim the whole valley to his house. A ludicrous idea, but very important, almost essential to him. After each stop, and we meet lots of other people, we learn to know Ned.
Burt Lancaster plays Ned as a complex man, being sad, energetic, objectionable and likeable at the same time. He's fascinating, and when he starts as our point-of-view in this journey through the luxurious partying high society of the suburbs, he turns out to be an example of the destruction of the American dream. At his first…
Lancaster is always at his best when he's being less stoic and more melancholic. He's one of the few male leading actors who emerged from the 40s who was able to really embody the all the vulnerability of the male condition (despite how much posturing he did and would continue to do throughout his career). Here he acts as the non-presence of the bourgeois - where he is but an observer to all that is considered in life to make one "happy"/"successful". An outsider to a world he once belonged and oblivious to the whys of change. By the end, we realize what this is - not a dream or an illusion or a fantasy but a reflection. A terrifying one at that - a reflection where you realize how much of your life is a lie.
We had nice new pink lungs in those days.
Here's to sugar on our strawberries.
Gets me every damn time. Delusion and the downfall of a high flyer rounded off with a true gut punch. Lancaster is perfection in his role
High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.