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Deep End / quad / UK


Poster Poster

Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s Deep End is one of those films that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who sees it, but it was sadly considered to be a ‘lost’ film for many years and was practically impossible to see after its initial cinema opening in a handful of countries. The film was briefly available on VHS in the UK but was never released on DVD. In 2011 the BFI restored and re-released it at the cinema and also issued a blu-ray version complete with several extras, which is utterly superb and well worth picking up.

The film focuses on Mike (John Moulder-Brown) a teenager who leaves school and gets his first job working at a local swimming baths. There he meets Susan (Jane Asher) an older woman with whom he quickly becomes infatuated. Without spoiling things too much, the film builds to a fairly shocking climax which has been known to polarize viewers. Jane Asher looks absolutely stunning and really plays the seductive, care-free Susan perfectly – it’s not hard to understand the reasons behind Mike’s infatuation!

Skolimowski was a contemporary of Roman Polanski and was mentored by the great Polish director Andrzej Wajda. He completed several films in Poland throughout the 1960s before moving to the UK where he made Deep End and a couple of other features. He then left to Los Angeles where he took up painting and occasionally acted in films, notably in White Knights and more recently in David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises. His 17 year hiatus from directing ended in 2008 with the release of Four Nights with Anna and he made the spartan thriller Essential Killing with Vincent Gallo in 2010.

This poster by an unknown graphic designer is the quad that was printed when the film was given a wider UK release. The premiere showing had actually been at the Academy Cinema One on London’s Oxford Street and the poster for this was done by the legendary designer Peter Strausfeld (his Seven Samurai poster is on this site here).

The original trailer is on YouTube.