Pools intrigue, attract and amaze so it’s hardly surprising they feature so much in art! Some scenario writers have even turned turquoise pools into stars in their own right. From comedy to drama, here is our film selection which celebrates pools in movies.
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An original challenge in “The Swimmer” (Frank Perry - 1968)
In “The Swimmer”, Ned Merrill (played by Burt Lancaster) sets himself an improbable challenge - to get home from his summer holidays by swimming in all the private pools he finds on the way. An original film based on a mad idea which quickly becomes a journey of initiation. The pools in the smart suburbs of Connecticut reveal the downside of the American dream.
The lost dolce vita of “The Swimming Pool” (Jacques Deray - 1969)
Put together a dream cast (Alain Delon, Romy Schneider, Jane Birkin and Maurice Ronet), add a pinch of Saint-Tropez, a plot mixing love and crime and you get “La Piscine” – a “must” French movie. When Harry and his daughter Penelope holiday in Marianne and Jean-Paul’s paradisiacal villa, their hosts’ dolce vita is totally disrupted.
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An ode to literary creation in “Swimming Pool” (François Ozon - 2003)
Charlotte Rampling plays Sarah Morton, a British crime novelist looking for inspiration, who borrows her publisher’s house in Provence, in the south of France, to rest and work. Ludivine Sagnier plays Julie, Sarah’s publisher’s daughter, who shows up unexpectedly… The two women’s personalities are as day is to night, which frees the novelist’s inspiration - and her pen.
A migrant’s dream comes true in “Welcome” (Philippe Lioret - 2009)
This film tells the story of Bilal (Firat Ayverdi), a young illegal Kurdish immigrant who wants to swim the English Channel to rejoin his girlfriend. He meets Simon (Vincent Lindon), an instructor at the Calais swimming pool who is embroiled in a divorce. Simon coaches Bilal in secret, hoping this will win his wife back.
Claustrophobic horror in “12 Feet Deep” (Matt Eskandari - 2017)
For thriller fans! In 12 Feet Deep, two sisters played by Alexandra Park and Nora-Jane Noone are trapped under the automatic shutter of an Olympic swimming pool. In this asphyxiating space, family secrets emerge. Plus the added threat of Clara, a malevolent maintenance technician.
A moving ballet in “Sink or Swim” (Gilles Lellouche - 2018)
This dramatic comedy features seven men badly treated by life who decide to take their destiny in hand again through an ambitious challenge! They join a synchronized swimming team with the ambition to take part in the World Championships. For all of them, their training sessions become a refuge and, little by little, they find a new reason for living. A beautiful off-beat story brimful of optimism and tolerance.
As an added bonus: 3 iconic pool scenes in movies
Without being specifically focused on pools, these films have shots that made their mark! First of all Skyfall, in which James Bond swims lengths in a pool overhanging Shanghai illuminated by urban lights.
Then The Great Gatsby and mad poolside parties reflecting the amazing world of Jay Gatsby brilliantly played by Leonardo DiCaprio.
In Passengers, the pool in a spaceship becomes a genuine trap when the gravity-generator stops. In a surrealistic scene, the water rises and imprisons Jennifer Lawrence.
All these beautiful films around pools are sure to brighten your summer. To explore even further the close relationship between pools and art, discover 4 photographers specializing in pool designs!