Watch Now: LA PISCINE
Buy now: LA PISCINE
Translated to English as The Swimming Pool, Jacques Deray's 1969 psychological thriller La Piscine is a film that burns so slowly you can almost feel the Mediterannean heat on your skin. A writer and his girlfriend are on a vacation in their friend's villa on the French Riviera. The tensions in their relationship suddenly exacerbate when the woman's ex-lover joins them alongside his teenage daughter: as the former lovers rekindle their chemistry, the writer grows closer to the guest's mysterious daughter and, before you know it, the stage is set for a violent crescendo.
This was the first of altogether nine collaborations between Jacques Deray and Alain Delon, while the film itself was not just another project for the superstar actor: La Piscine reunited him on-screen with his former lover Romy Schneider. The stellar cast was further finalized with the additions of Maurice Ronet and Jane Birkin. With Michel Legrand's score, La Piscine is a beautifully written thriller that makes the most of its simple premise, which is a huge compliment both to its writing and the people portraying these gorgeous but psychologically trapped characters floating the screen. As the fourth most-watched film in French cinemas in 1969, it also gathered quite a bit of deserved attention from American and British critics.