search

The Pool

A New Film from the Director of AMERICAN MOVIE

The Pool

At first blush -- and okay, at a second, too -- The Pool seems like a radical departure for Chris Smith, the Milwaukee-based filmmaker known for offbeat documentaries like American Movie, Home Movie, and The Yes Men. For one, The Pool is a narrative film, his first since his no-budget debut American Job, which nonetheless had the feel of documentary verisimilitude. He also went halfway around the world to shoot in the West Indian state of Goa and in the Hindi language, and had the further audacity to cast non-professional actors in three of the four leading roles. And yet The Pool is still fundamentally a Chris Smith story, an expansion on his career-long interest in dreamers and outsiders who dwell on the fringes of society, but possess a certain audacity.

A poor, illiterate teenager from rural Goa, Venkatesh Chavan scrapes together an exceedingly meager income out of odd jobs, including working as a roomboy at a Panjim hotel and collaborating with his much younger buddy Jahangir Badshah on a side business selling plastic bags. From the branches of a tree, Chavan looks down at the shimmering majesty of a pool in a wealthy family's backyard and wonders why no one ever breaks its placid surface. He starts following the pool's owners -- a father (Nana Patekar) obsessed with his garden and his daughter (Ayesha Mohan), a pretty sophisticate who reads a lot -- and eventually he develops a relationship with them. The father gives him another odd job in the garden, and the initially disinterested daughter goes off on little adventures with Chavan and Badshah.

The premise sets up a stark contrast in class: What could be a more obvious border between the haves and the have-nots than a gate separating a ragamuffin from the non-pool-using elite? But Smith never brings the hammer down hard, and he quietly defies any assumptions about the privileged people Chavan encounters. The Pool doesn't seethe with class tension -- or much tension at all, for that matter. It's a funny, sweet-natured humanist character piece that looks beyond such distinctions without entirely transcending them. Based on a short story by Randy Russell, who co-scripted with Smith, the film has a refreshing sense of proportion without seeming as determinedly minor or mannered as other indies. It's a vivid piece of sketchwork.

— Scott Tobias, The Onion A/V Club

The Pool

Sun March 8, 2009, 7:00 & 9:00, Muenzinger Auditorium

USA, 2007, Hindi, Color, 98 min, 35mm (1.85:1) • official site

recommend

Tickets

10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.

Parking

Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.

RTD Bus

Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Virtual titles to stream from home

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

Z-briefs
: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Sprocket Damage
: Sprocket Damage digs deep(ish) into current and classic films and film-related subjects to bring to you insightful, humorous, and enlightening perspectives on the industry.

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists

Sun Sep 26, 2021

Highway Patrolman

At Muenzinger Auditorium

Wed Sep 29, 2021

The Mummy

At Muenzinger Auditorium

more on 35mm...