Tuesday, May 29

Special Engagements ArchiveElements of Cinema (previous events)

Elements of Cinema: The Swimmer

Free Screening – Passes Not Required

Free Screening and Discussion!

(1968) dir Frank Perry w/Burt Lancaster [93 min; DCP]
This underrated allegory of 1960s suburban dissatisfaction features Burt Lancaster in one of his most interesting roles. He plays Neddy Merrill, an apparently happy and successful suburbanite who, one evening, startles his friends by declaring his intention to “swim home.” He has noticed that all of the houses in his neighborhood have pools and he decides that he will swim in each one until he reaches his own. THE SWIMMER is a sad, strange film about loneliness among those who seem to have everything.

This special free screening is a part of our Elements of Cinema series and will be followed by a discussion with the audience.

Guest Speaker: Joseph Giallombardo

Joseph Giallombardo is a fellow at the Abigail Adams Institute at Harvard. He is currently leading the Institute’s series on great films, titled “The Language of the Cinema.” Joseph has directed and produced several short films and written criticism on film, literature, and other arts.

Presented by:


“As effectively as almost any movie ever made about American suburbia, The Swimmer gets the contentment that comes with material success[…] And it gets how the fantasy is hard to sustain.” – Noe Murray, The Dissolve

“The Swimmer stays in the memory like an echo that never quite disappears.” – Vincent Canby, New York Times

“Burt Lancaster is superb in his finest performance.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times



Elements of Cinema logoELEMENTS OF CINEMA is a monthly free screening and discussion series presented by the Brattle Film Foundation. ELEMENTS OF CINEMA is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.