As Ned, Burt Lancaster is at first virile, vigorous, compelling — a man who must be taken seriously for his physical presence and for his apparent accomplishments. But then there’s a sort of existential twist that unravels the well-heeled suburban world where the story takes place (and which Cheever could write about with such bite): Ned decides to work his way back to his own house by swimming in all the neighbors’ pools along the way.
Soon we realize that our initial conceptions of Ned were wrong — and that we are not exactly watching the film that we thought we were. It’s just brilliant that Jim Reed (the founder and programmer of the Psychotronic Films and the Movies Savannah Missed series) has decided to show it on the fairly large screen at Muse Arts Warehouse, where this year’s festival will take place.
In his review in 1968, Roger Ebert called the film “a strange, stylized work, a brilliant and disturbing one.” That characterization holds up more than four decades later.
The screening of “The Swimmer” will be Monday, January 24 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Muse, at 703 Louisville Road, just west of the intersection of Boundary Street. The festival will show two films per night through Saturday the 29th. The full schedule can be found on the film society’s Facebook page and in this article in Connect Savannah: Motorhead, Alice in Wonderland, and — R. Kelly?