***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…
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 friends 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.
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.
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.
Few films expose the mundane truth about suburban existence as painfully yet poignantly as Frank Perry’s The Swimmer. Once lost, and now back from the great beyond thanks to the folks at Grindhouse Releasing (love, love, love ‘em), this is definitely something more than just a somewhat quirky vehicle for star Burt Lancaster, which is what I initially expected it to be. It begins with a genuine sense of wonder and whimsy and ends on a very dark and sad note. It isn’t always an easy watch in spite of its likable protagonist and seemingly cheery demeanor. The film’s power is increased significantly by the element of surprise. And even without that, it’s still a curious acquisition for the company;…
"What happened...nothings turned out...nothings turned out the way I thought it would. When I was a kid, I used to believe in things. People seemed happier when I was a kid. People used to love each other, what happened?"
A film about a man who has been figuratively swimming through other people's pools all his life, coming to this realization himself while literally swimming through other people's pools. Burt Lancaster crushes it, and aside from some of the stranger moments, such as when they are jumping over the equestrian obstacles, this film is pretty tight and on point with its message.
Ned (played by Burt Lancaster) appears unexpectedly at the home of friends, swims in their pool and lightheartedly decides to "swim home", by swimming in the pools that are on his way. As he does so it becomes apparent that things are not quite as they first seemed.
At first this just looked like any late 1960s film - bright colours and people happy in a good American way. I liked seeing the changes that happened to Lancaster's character along the way, they took me by surprise and should remind me not to dismiss a film before it has properly started.
Verla en HD y pantalla grande (doméstica) subraya más de la cuenta los amaneramientos propios de la época, el abuso de flares (reales, no como los de JJ), los ralentís, los desenfoques, la excesiva banda sonora... Y se le ve alguna costura, pero la peli me sigue acongojando como la primera vez. Todo en ella funciona además a tantos niveles, desde los diálogos, a la estructura, los símbolos, que nunca se agotan las interpretaciones. El final no deja de ser apoteósico y tremendo.
The Swimmer es otro ejemplo de ese momento maravilloso en que los estudios empezaron a hacer cosas raras porque nada les funcionaba, y salieron bizarradas geniales como La leyenda de Lylah Clare, Harold y Maude, 2001, El graduado, Point Blank... El Hollywood más loco y fascinante.
Burt Lancaster gets naked and Joan Rivers gives a commendable cameo, and not even *that* drags it above one-star stuff. And I've usually got time for Frank Perry.
I seriously don't know what to make of this film. I found myself pretty repulsed throughout, so I guess it was effective in that regard. I don't think it really had anything that interesting to say about masculinity or suburbia. Nevertheless a good performance from ol' Burt, and it is such a truly bizarre film that I still haven't quite been able to come to terms with whether I liked it or not. (Leaning towards probably not, sorry Brad.)
The Swimmer seems to be buried underneath the mountain of iconic, classic films that came out around the New Hollywood era, the subtlety and obtuse nature of the story working against it when fresh, culturally important works were getting all the attention. It could also be the fact that, apart from Burt Lancaster, the film has no other big names attached to it, especially the director, Frank Perry who is not quite a household name and doesn't really have any other known masterpieces to his credit. The Swimmer however feels like a masterpiece in every sense of the word, from the incredibly exciting, nuanced performance that Lancaster brings to the sun drenched suburbs to the devastatingly effective final scene which,…
I really really love this film. I thought it was excellent and really got to me on an emotional level which a lot of films while I love and enjoy them tend to struggle to do. I felt I understood exactly what he was going through even though he is not very much like me at all. Haunting film about a man of high status struggling to swim back home as the memories mount and the self-delusion begins to crumble. I don't know, I would recommend it as I think its very underrated and incredibly good
Burt Lancaster is terrific as a man who decides to swim through the various pools in his affluent neighbours' backyards, leading all the way to his home. Some people are happy to see him, others not so much. Who is this man, and what is his story? Layers of him are revealed with each visit to every neighbour's house in this mysterious, almost surreal picture that beautifully explores themes of illusion, denial, rejection and failure. The further we get into the story, the darker it becomes. A one-of-a-kind relic from the 60s.
What a wonderfully preposterous tagline.
Αυτη η ταινια γυριστηκε το 2068 και με καποιον τροπο γυρισε πισω στον χρονο εκατο χρονια για να εχουμε την ευκαιρια να την δουμε κι εμεις. Οι πρωταγωνιστες, αφηνουν πισω τους τις ερμηνειες που εχουμε συνηθισει απο τους ιδιους κι απο τον κλασικο αμερικανικο κινηματογραφο γενικα, και ειναι ετοιμοι να βουτηξουν σε εναν κοσμο τοσο διακριτικα σουρεαλιστικο που μοιαζει πραγματικος.
Pool after pool. Or, how to sew together an American string of swimming pools. Or even, how to water down a short story long. The short story is a masterpiece by John Cheever. In the unnecessarily more developed film, via his neighbors (friends?) visiting journey we learn more and more about who the main character, Ned Merril, really is. What was necessary, I thought, was at least to cast Burt Lancaster as Neddy. It seemed to me he would be the best choice of his times, to embody this self-defined 'legendary explorer': from the beginning, when he comes up with the idea for his endeavour, all smiles and seeping optimism out of his pores, but also all the way to the end while the journey and the meetings in it are inflicting harsher and harsher pain on him
- I've Heard the Mermaids Singing
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- The Adventures of Prince Achmed
***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
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Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.
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