Some of my favorite movie moments involve a swimming pool, a character and a pause in storytelling. In The Graduate, Harold & Maude and Rushmore (just
to name a few), a character walks to the pool’s edge where they drop,
splash and quietly float for some several long, uncomfortable seconds.
The camera’s indifferent, slow pan mollifies any sense of
alarm—narrative concerns like “drowning?” fade into the background.
These scenes are different than the others. They are voluptuously
sensory experiences, which provide a surreal moment of sympathetic
sensation within the otherwise plot-driven medium of film.