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World Cinema Series: Deep End

What "Deep End is one of the greatest and most under-seen films of the seventies. Its cinematic mastery is simply breathtaking" - Anthology Film Archives
When 13 September 2011 (Tuesday), 7.30pm
Where National Museum of Singapore, Gallery Theatre
93 Stamford Road Singapore 178897

If you are an SFS member, you can get a free ticket by flashing your membership card at the SFS desk at the door. You may ask for up to 2 more tickets for your guests if you hold a SFS Reel membership card. Non-members may sign up online or at the door -- we will issue membership on the spot. No tickets will be sold. Free seating.


Deep End
by Jerzy Skolimowski
1970 / Germany, USA / 89 min / Digital Beta
In English

"Deep End is one of the greatest and most under-seen films of the seventies. Its cinematic mastery is simply breathtaking" – Anthology Film Archives

Neglected and relegated to the occasional late-night television slot since its initial release, Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski's fable-like tale of obsessive love Deep End finally got its due recognition and acclaim after a recent restoration by Bavaria Film.

John Moulder-Brown plays Mike, a shy and awkward 15 year old who takes his first job out of school as an attendant at a public bathhouse in London. His co-worker is Susan, a beautiful redhead played by Jane Asher (former girlfriend of Beatle Paul McCartney) who inducts him into the sordid dealings of the bathhouse where they help the patrons to indulge in their sexual fantasies in exchange for tips.

Between fending off the lusty advances of overweight middle-aged women and learning the ropes at his new job, Mike soon falls for Susan. When he finds out that she is having an affair with her former teacher while being engaged to another man, his infatuation grows into a dangerous obsession and he begins to find ways to sabotage her relationships.

Like how Mike's seemingly innocent crush on Susan spirals out of control, Deep End starts out as a playful coming of age story but soon reveals itself to be a chilling study of obsession. From the casting of former child of the sixties Jane Asher as the cynical and manipulative Susan to the stark contrast of Susan's bright yellow day-glo mac against the drab brown and green hues of the bathhouse, the film brilliantly captured the changing of the times as the optimism and idealism of the sixties gave way to a growing sense of disillusionment and spiritual emptiness as the decade turns.

Funny, unsettling and tragic, Deep End remains one of Skolimowski's most accomplished and astute works that takes an unflinching look into the darkness and depth of human desire.

About the Director Jerzy Skolimowski

One of the greatest living Polish filmmakers and the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Polish Film Awards, Jerzy Skolimowski was born in 1938 and attended the National Film School in Łódź with Roman Polanski, whose first feature film Knife in the Water, he co-scripted. In the 1960s, Skolimowski's films contributed to the revival of cinema in central and eastern Europe in the wake of the French New Wave. He gained international renown for his 1967 film Le Départ starring New Wave icon Jean-Pierre Léaud, which won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. In his subsequent films, Skolimowski has matured into a formidable talent with works such as Deep End (1970), The Shout (1978), and Moonlighting (1982) which starred Jeremy Irons. His acting career includes roles in his own films and, more recently, in Julian Schnabel's Before Night Falls and David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises. After a break from directing for seventeen years, Skolimowski made a triumphant return with Cztery noce z Anna / Four Nights with Anna (2008). In 2010, he directed Essential Killing starring Vincent Gallo which won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice International Film Festival.