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Summer Indie Counter-Programming

Posted June 18, 2010 to photo album "Summer Indie Counter-Programming"

In anticipation of the release of Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right, Nick Dawson looks back at summer indie hits from years past.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: Kids
Slide 3: The Usual Suspects
Slide 4: Ulee's Gold
Slide 5: The Full Monty
Slide 6: The Blair Witch Project
Slide 7: Ghost World
Slide 8: Whale Rider
Slide 9: 28 Days Later
Slide 10: Swimming Pool
Slide 11: American Splendor
Slide 12: Napoleon Dynamite
Slide 13: Fahrenheit 9/11
Slide 14: Broken Flowers
Slide 15: Little Miss Sunshine
Slide 16: (500) Days of Summer
Slide 10: Swimming Pool

Slide 10: Swimming Pool

Release Date: July 2, 2003
Domestic Gross:
Programmed Against: Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

In early July 2003, two European film icons had films opening at the same time. Austrian bodybuilder-turned-actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger was back, as promised, in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, while French director François Ozon’s Swimming Pool also featured another legendary actor, Charlotte Rampling. Swimming Pool tells the story of a middle-aged British crime novelist, Sarah Morton (Rampling), who accepts her publisher’s invitation to write her next book at his summer house in the South of France, where she meets Julie (Ludivine Sagnier), the publisher’s promiscuous daughter. While Terminator 3 embodied the full-scale carnage we love in summer flicks, Swimming Pool, like the best in sexy European thrillers, was more about disrobing. Ozon’s film audience’s attention were grabbed by a very striking poster featuring a bikini-clad Sagnier laid out seductively by the titular pool. (“Ask anyone what they think about the movie Swimming Pool, and the first thing that probably comes to mind is the poster,” says Kevin B. Lee in his ReWatch video on Ozon’s film.)  The pleasure in the movie is all ours, as Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum observed: “The narrative logic of Swimming Pool slips through our hands like cool water, shimmery and light-dappled, leaving behind the pleasures of summer heat and goose bumps.”