Written and Directed by Lindsay MacKay
Watch the trailer for Clear Blue, a narrative short screening at SXSW this year in the “Medium Cool” category, and you’ll probably be intrigued if not a little hesitant to discover why a naïve young lifeguard, Simon (Chris Sheffield), is tripping over his swim shorts for a woman in her 60’s (Nancy Linehan Charles).
Go see Clear Blue and you’ll discover that there’s more behind the teenager’s obsession with and desire for the early-morning regular at the pool.
The film opens in silence with a lovely clip of foreshadowing as a pair of red swim trunks float slowly to the surface of an indoor swimming pool. One of my favorite moments in the film is Simon’s first early-morning shift in which he stands before the empty pool with his lifeguard whistle around his neck and practices chiding imaginary swimmers, pointing his finger and raising his eye brows to show his seriousness. We get the sense that this is Simon’s first job, and it’s definitely his first time experiencing some of the other happenings that go on during his few short days as lifeguard.
Swathed in swimming pool blue, the first part of the film is set to the echoes of splashes, locker room doors, and wet, padding feet. Enter the second half of the film, as Simon makes his discovery, and we begin to hear the soft, siren-like humming of a woman’s voice. The film is well-acted and while it teeters on sci-fi, it feels like a very real dream.
If you’re going to be in Austin for SXSW this year, you can catch Clear Blue at any of the following screenings:
March 14, 1:30pm at the Alamo South Lamar
March 16, 4pm at the Arbor
March 17, 5:30pm at the Alamo Ritz
March 19, 3:30pm at the Alamo Ritz