It's not often that an excerpt of a film is enough to satisfy me, but that was exactly the case with a clip from Lynne Ramsay's (Ratcatcher, Morvern Callar, We Need to Talk About Kevin) short film Swimmer. As part of the 2012 Olympics, a number of British filmmakers were commissioned to make films, and they were shown before the games in London earlier this year. While it doesn't seem like all of them have been released in full anywhere else, if you did happen to see them, I just might be a little jealous, especially since the excerpt from Ramsay's gorgeous black and white 35mm short film is so enticing. Click through to check it out.
First, here's the trailer for all of the Olympic films that were commissioned:
Here is the excerpt from Swimmer:
I'll be the first to say I'm not quite clear about what's going on. I would think that being able to see the whole film might provide a bit more insight, but obviously you could take an educated guess from the clues that are revealed in the clip. With that out of the way, this is breathtaking filmmaking. What separates the film of an acclaimed director like Ramsay from your average film is expert attention to all facets of the craft. The sound design and the imagery are so tactile that you could almost reach out and touch them.
While watching the clip I was instantly reminded of the films of Ingmar Bergman and Andrei Tarkovsky, not just in the imagery, but in the feelings the films from those directors evoke. The excerpt above reminded me of films like Bergman's Hour of the Wolf and Tarkovsky's The Mirror, both of which have a way of penetrating deep into your mind, and transporting you in a way that is difficult to describe (I recommend both of them highly -- and really any of the films from either director).
The director of photography on the piece, Natasha Braier, has quite a few beautiful pieces of work under her belt, including a film for sponsor British Petroleum (BP) for the Olympics (shot on anamorphic 35mm), and a music video for David Byrne & St. Vincent (shot on Arri Alexa). Here are those two:
What did you guys think? Did anyone actually get to see any of the Olympic shorts? I'm not aware of any of the others being online, but I would be happy to share them if they are. What about the other pieces from Natasha? Let us know what you think in the comments below. You can check out more of Natasha's work at her website in the links section.
[via Indiewire -- Trailer]