Monday, 2 May 2011

Capital Celluloid - Day 123: Wednesday May 4

Deep End (Skolimowski, 1970): BFI Southbank, NFT1 8.45pm

Here's a genuine curio. A film that has been out of circulation for far too long and one getting a welcome revival from Friday and presented here in a preview at the BFI with the added bonus of a Q&A with stars Jane Asher and John Moulder-Brown.
 
I saw this late night on BBC2 a couple of decades ago and it left a deep impression. The tale of Moulder-Brown's character's coming-of-age in a run-down swimming baths takes surprising and disturbing turns and has a quality that led the distinguished American critic Andrew Sarris to compare the film with the best of Godard, Truffaut and Polanski.

Anyone who sees this in its current run (and it is on at BFI Southbank from Friday until May 20 and in other selected cinemas) is in for a treat and it comes highly recommended.

New Statesman film correspondent Ryan Gilbey wrote this feature in Monday's Guardian while here is the Chicago Reader review from Dave Kehr:

'Jerzy Skolimowski's first English-language film (1970), made just after his departure from Poland—which may help account for the film's unusually strong sense of displacement, unfamiliarity, and isolation. These are feelings shared by the film's protagonist, a British teenager (John Moulder-Brown) whose job as an attendant at a public bath brings him his first experiences with sexuality and mortality. It's one of the most authentic films about adolescence that I know, yet through mise-en-scene Skolimowski effortlessly expands detailed, specific situations into haunting universal images, much as he did in his later masterpiece Moonlighting. With Jane Asher and Diana Dors.' 88 mins.

Here is an extract which includes work by legendary German band Can on the soundtrack.

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