Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lost Island of VHS...

Deep End - Jerzy Skolimowski - 1971

This is one of the better 1970's cult films that remains unreleased on DVD. It is a darkly humorous, disturbing and ultimately tragic coming-of-age tale [sort of] about a teen-aged boy (John Moulder Brown) who gets a job in a gritty London bathhouse where he meets and falls in love with one of his female co-workers (Jane Asher). What starts as merely flirtatious becomes a bit more obsessive for the boy who seems too young and naive to understand the nature of such affairs.
What's striking about the film is the natural way the actors respond to one another and the unique setting. The direction, on the other hand, is actually quite tightly controlled showing the training director Jerzy Skolimowski received from the Lódz Film School, which in the 1960's was considered stylistically one of the most disciplined film schools in the world.*

Unique scenes - full of funny and interesting conflicts - arise again and again throughout the film making for a very entertaining story until its very strong ending.

The film gives the viewer a different view of 'swinging' London [complete with porn theatres and dark rainy streets] as well as one with a non-formulaic view or the that world.

VHS is super rare on this one but DVD-R's can be found on some web sites.

*[And tough to get into. It took Krystof Kieslowski three tries].

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