Come Swim

Kristen Stewart's impressionistic diptych of one man's day.

Genre: Other

Length: 17:49

Free To View

1 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : David Ethan Shapiro,

Director/s : Kristen Stewart, 

Writer/s : Kristen Stewart, 

Actor/s : Josh Kaye, Sydney Lopez


Kristen Stewart takes the waters

My goodness there’s some great film-making here. It starts with a super slow-mo of a solid looking wave that doesn’t break until we’re caught in the undertow (oo, waves, the sea, we’re going all subconscious, right?). A man in a vest falls back from a sink in a bathroom, and the movement smoothly lands him in a chair in an office, in a shirt. That didn’t just happen, that was envisioned in the writing, enacted in the shooting, and perfected in the edit.

Other flourishes – a shot through a café window that you don’t realise is running backwards until you notice raindrops running up the glass. Driving in the desert, a man drenches himself with bottled water, and then he’s under the sea (there’s a lot of water). Then he’s crawling in the sand, dried up, dessicated.

There’s a lot of whispering. Impressionistic snatches. You’re dead. You stink. A lie is never a lie, just a code you can’t crack. Pull me under. I can’t see. I’m going to drown you.

It’s all so meaningful. It’s a deeply layered vision. It’s abstract expressionism. We extract what we bring.

It’s a poncey self-indulgent waste of resources. It’s taking the piss.

It’s all the above. Or none. But a good yarn it ain’t.

Kristen Stewart says water is essential and unfightable, so progress from drowning to breathing entails letting go. She says it’s externalising a fear of self. She says it’s about not being able to participate. Really, Kristen? From Cannes, you sit and say that?

1 star or five stars? I’m going to let my inner philistine out. I’m not saying the emperor has no clothes, I’m saying don’t expect to be entertained.

And I’m saying Stewart has immense skill and talent, and when she puts them to the service of stories, we’re going to see five-star films from her.