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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Deep End (1971)

A fifteen year old boy (John Moulder Brown) takes a job at a local bath house where he becomes infatuated with a pretty but older girl (Jane Asher, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH) who also works there. But soon the infatuation turns into an unhealthy obsession as he stalks not only her but the men in her life. Directed and co-written by Jerzy Skolimowksi (he co-wrote Polanski's KNIFE IN THE WATER), this is one of the very best films of the 1970s. Although set in an English environment, it feels closer to the French nouvelle vague cinema rather than the British realism cinema of Reisz, Schlesinger and Richardson. Abetted by the detailed camera work of Charly Steinberger, Skolimowski's film is a unique mixture of feverish dream imagery (it's no surprise the film is a favorite of David Lynch) and stark perception. Moulder-Brown brings the right amount of innocence and perverseness while nothing in Asher's career, before or after, prepares us for her expertly delineated work here. With Diana Dors, who kicks her one scene out of the ballpark, Karl Michael Vogler (PATTON), Burt Kwouk and Christopher Sandford.

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