SWIMMING POOL - What's it all about? (Spoilers within!)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by RAF, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    O.K. I just got back from a screening of François Ozon's Swimming Pool. An interesting movie and I've never heard the audience talk so much as the final credits rolled.

    Basically, I think the last part of the film shows that most of the film was an illusion by Sarah Morton (Charlotte Rampling) and that Ludivine Sagnier's "Julie" never existed in the way depicted.

    But, then again, Ozon could just be messing with us a bit. One thing for sure, I'm eagerly anticipating the DVD of this movie and, hopefully, some insight regarding what's what.

    Or maybe "what's what" is supposed to be a personal interpretation in this film?

    The press can't seem to agree on this one and there are as many theories about it as there are critics.

    Thoughts and comments?
     
  2. Chris_Richard

    Chris_Richard Supporting Actor

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    Definite spoilers:



    I saw this last week and would have to agree with you that the entire time at the vacation home was made up by Sarah Morton and was the subject of the book.

    The quick scene at the end with her standing on the balcony of another vacation home waving at the real daughter is a scene of her real time on vacation to write the book that we just witnessed.
     
  3. RAF

    RAF Lead Actor

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    Yes, that final scene kind of ties it all together, with the merged images of the "mythical" Julie with the real Julie (or "Julia" in the credits on the IMDB). I didn't catch the fact that Sarah was waving from a balcony in a different house and I'll look for that when I see this movie again. But, come to think of it, it did appear as though the balcony was higher up in the final scene than earlier.

    Lots to ponder, which either makes for a great movie, or an infuriating one, depending on your point of view. And that probably explains why there are so many differing opinions on this movie.
     
  4. Jalil

    Jalil Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm still trying to figure this movie out myself.

    but all i gotta say is that i'm in love with luvidine sagnier now..........
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    WARNING! MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW.

     
  6. Doug T

    Doug T Auditioning

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    Thanks, Michael! I saw Swimming Pool over the weekend, and, like most, had figured that Sarah just embellished who Julie was. But I could not reconcile the final scene of them waving with the fact that they did not appear to know each other in the office.

    Sarah simply took the existence of the publisher's daughter, of which she had just been reminded by his hesitance to come vistit, and created the entire story of the fictional Julie. When she did actually "meet" the real Julie, she was just trying to place her into her own creation, which, of course, did not work.

    What I found particularly amusing is that even as she was able to get her mind working on a totally different genre, Sarah could not help but to go back to what she knew best - murder mysteries. The whole murder plot of the imagined Julie story certainly had all the elements of a cheesy murder novel, and don't really make all that much sense until you see it as Sarah's next installment in her detective series.

    - Doug
     
  7. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    I was puzzled by one particular shot. Sarah is typing at the computer. I believe this was right after she took the diary, and was working from it. The camera is facing Sarah, and pans to the left, showing the doorway. It stays there for several seconds, as if someone might walk in. Then it pans to the right, showing more of the bed and pillow. And then it centers again. What's up with that? [​IMG] (I also suppose the point will be lost if it is ever pan&scanned.)

    //Ken
     
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Hello, I'm terribly fond of Charlotte Rampling. And I live in a town where this film is playing in a number of venues. Should I wait for the inevitable DVD or should I make the trek to see it now? Thank you very much.
     
  9. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    See it now. It's worth it. I just hope you haven't read the rest of this thread. [​IMG]

    M.
     
  10. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Michael is quite right in his analysis. I'm warming up a bit more to the movie the more I think about it, but I still think there are too many things that occur as Ken describes. Small things designed as stylistic tricks in an effort to increase suspense or trick the audience that are inventions of the director rather than things that would occur in the mind of Miss Rampling. While I don't mind a director calling attention to themselves stylistically (and in Ozon's previous film, 8 Women, I loved the ways he did this) but this is not a film that should contain such flourishes.
     
  11. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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  12. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    All in all, a good flick.

    I am still trying to figure out what the reappearances of the cross above her bed and the cut in Julie's stomach all mean or signify.

    ~Edwin
     
  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Me too, Edwin. I'm saving those for my second viewing. My wife says she has a theory about the cross, but she won't tell me about it until we watch the film again.

    M.
     
  14. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    For a minute there, I thought you had the answer, Michael. [​IMG]

    Anyway, I am also in the camp that the whole Julie encounter never happened. In addition, when we see Sarah out to lunch for the very first time out in the town, there was a shot of the waiter (I believe Franck was his name) with his eyes closed and taking in the sun, which I thought was kinda weird.

    The actual cafe incident probably occurred but at that point, the waiter then became another "character" to her novel.

    ~Edwin
     
  15. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    I just caught this. I want to know the cross theory. I was puzzling over its significance the whole time I saw the movie.

    Michael, that's a great explanation. It seems to fit things the best.
     
  16. Colin-H

    Colin-H Second Unit

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    I still have unanswered questions about two things: The cross, as I mentioned before, and the scar. (The car accident explanation didn't seem genuine.)
     
  17. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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    Okay, here are my thoughts after much pondering. Remember, that the film is full of symbolism and Julie represents Sarah’s struggle with her past:

    Sarah was promiscuous when she was young (just like “Julie” is). She had sex with their gardener and got pregnant in the process. (Remember that the actual act occurring in “Julie’s” bedroom rather than hers at the country home). She had to abort the child through a C-section (the cut on “Julie’s” tummy). She felt guilty about this and that’s why the cross had to come down every time she sees one.

    She wrote about her experiences either on a form of a diary or unfinished book but decided to just bury that entire experience in the past. The abortion left her so scarred that she changed her life and decided not to even marry.

    Sarah takes the offer of her publisher to write her next novel at his country home. Here she gets a writer’s block. After going to bed one evening, she starts dreaming about her past. At this time, the dreams, reality, symbolism and facts are all mixed in – a director’s trick including the midget. Sarah still doesn’t want to face her past and wants very much to put it behind her. The killing of the waiter in the film is symbolism that she wants to keep all her past experience still buried.

    In the end though, she got courage to face the truth (“Julie” driving away and “giving” Sarah her “mother’s” unfinished book). Sarah went ahead and finished this same book she started long ago. This would become the finished novel that she gave to her publisher, John. John didn’t like it as he said it was not like her past novels as it dealt more about feelings and inner personalities. But Sarah smiles as she is now a better person for dealing with her past. With this novel and being able to confront her past, she is more encouraged to continue writing about crime novels.

    That’s my interpretation.

    By the way, Francois Ozon says that the entire film is open to many interpretations. Just like Kubrick and his films, he won’t be offering a definitive answer to Swimming Pool.

    ~Edwin
     
  18. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    I've read this thread very deftly, skimming where necessary. Thinking about checking the flick out today, time allowing. Thanks for whetting my appetite.
     
  19. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

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  20. Jeff Swearingen

    Jeff Swearingen Second Unit

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    Maybe a DVD director's commentary will reveal some additional insights into this film (crossing fingers)
     

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