You may love Kristen Stewart, you may hate Kristen Stewart. But whether you’re a fan or not, there’s no denying that she is a force to be reckoned with. If you’ve followed her acting journey, you’ll know that she is incredibly talented. But perhaps you only know her from the Twilight Saga. If so, I ask you to put aside any judgement you may have, just for a moment, and watch Come Swim with an open mind, for it is truly a remarkable work of art.
Come Swim follows a day in the life of a man filled with anxiety. The film mixes realism and surrealism in such a way that you’re never quite sure what’s real and what’s not. It all feels like some sort of waking nightmare, and quite frankly, it’s what makes the film so brilliant. It’s unnerving and frightening, but you can’t tear your eyes away. You feel this sense of impending doom but are never sure when it’s going to hit. And if you have anxiety, you’ll know. This is exactly what each day feels like.
Kristen Stewart, who both wrote and directed Come Swim, says it’s the most satisfying project she’s worked on, and there’s no question as to why. From the first shot, we’re hooked. Stewart’s choices are bold, risky, to be sure. But they’re genius. She finds her theme and strings each scene together with it. When our main character is sitting in bed, he hears the sound of lapping water. This sound is almost constant, and in the rare instances that it isn’t, our ears are filled with a deafening silence. One that only encourages the dread we feel.
Drowning, and yet dying of thirst. Awake, but lost between dreams and nightmares. Come Swim is haunting and in its abstract surrealism perfectly depicts the truth of living with great anxiety. This artistic short is honest above all else. And to top it off? The film is scored by the one and only St. Vincent.
I’d like to personally thank Refinery29 for allowing us all to view such an intensely immersive film. And as for Kristen Stewart? There’s no doubt that Come Swim is only the first of many films that she will direct. And I, for one, cannot wait to see what she does next.
Watch Come Swim, Courtesy Of Refinery29, here.