MELBOURNE DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
MDFF : Andre Villers / Waterliles
Andre Villers (1hr 10mins)
Andre Villers discovers photography at 21 at the sanatorium in Vallauris in the south of France where he had been hospitalised for several years, suffering from bone tuberculosis.
Two years later, in 1953, Andr meets Pablo Picasso who will buy the young photographer his first Rolleiflex camera. The two will later work together on a poetic cut-out album called 'Diurnes'.
Through Picasso, Andr has met and photographed some of the greatest artists of the 20th century such as Chagall, Dal , Mir , Bu uel, Fellini, Brassa , Cocteau, Pr vert, Gainsbourg, Le Corbusier, L ger and many others. However, Andr has never boasted about it.
Throughout his life, he kept a low profile, even though his photographs are known worldwide.
One of the last true great photographer and visual artist awaiting to be fully discovered.
In their 60s, seven unlikely sages Kay, May, Nuala, Kathleen, Carol, Ann and Brigid have decided to learn how to swim. Taking themselves out of their comfort zone, they reveal what it is that drives them to keep striving for more, for survival, understanding, belonging and for purpose. Bobbing up and down in the water, they offer their observations on how they've changed over the years both physically and mentally.
Two narrative strands work together within this film to elevate the world of a swimming pool and the banality of learning to swim to the beauty of a quotidian plenty. The juxtaposition of straight talking poolside anecdotes with visually arresting underwater imagery transforms casual observations on growing old into a profound exploration of wisdom and what it means to grow to change and to keep striving for more. The experiences and observations of each woman are fused together to reveal the commonality of what it is to be an ordinary woman moving through the phases of life. Learning to swim is often perceived as a small victory but for these women it is much more than that, it is freedom.