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The Cinema of the Swimming Pool

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Christopher Brown and Pam Hirsch

The swimming pool frequently appears in film not merely as a setting but as a dynamic site where social, political, cultural and aesthetic forces converge. What is it about this space that has so fascinated filmmakers and what kinds of cinematic investigations does it encourage? This collection features essays by an eclectic, international range of film researchers. Amongst the works analysed are classics such as The Cameraman (1928), The Philadelphia Story (1940) and La Piscine (1969); cult hits such as The Swimmer (1968) and Deep End (1970); and more recent representations of the pool in Water Lilies (2007), Sea Point Days (2009) and Ausente (2011). The pool is considered as a realm where artifice meets nature, where public meets private, where sexualities morph and blend; and as a space that reconfigures the relationship between architecture and narrative, in which themes of pollution, spectacle and reflexivity find unique expression. Approaching the swimming pool from a wide range of methodological perspectives, the essays in this collection stake a claim for the enduring significance of this exciting cinematic space.
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NEW STUDIES IN EUROPEAN CINEMA

With its focus on new critical, theoretical, and cultural developments in contemporary film studies, this series develops rigorous analytical debate within an innovative, multidisciplinary, and transnational approach to European cinema.

Through a mixture of edited collections and single-authored volumes, the series aims both to re-evaluate established critical thought and to identify and explore new trends and theories that will inform cinema studies over the coming decades. It provides an international forum for lively and controversial debate embracing all aspects of European cinema from a broad range of theoretical perspectives. The New Studies in European Cinema series thus makes a key contribution to a subject whose importance to contemporary culture and identity is fundamental.

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