Dive into Kristen Stewart’s directorial debut ‘Come Swim’
After springing into mega-stardom in the Twilight saga and winning praise for her work in a long list of films (including Welcome to the Rileys and Clouds of Sils Maria), Kristen Stewart took a seat in the director’s chair for her short film, Come Swim.
Coming from someone used to the flash of cameras and the never-ending buzz of the tabloid rumor mill, Stewart’s directorial debut, Come Swim, seems like a celebrity fever dream/fantasy about the peace and healing potential of total isolation.
The avant-garde film explores the depths of pain and imagination through the eyes of Kaye, a man floating at the bottom of the sea, seemingly in the throes of post-breakup despair. Stewart chose first-time actor Josh Kaye for the lead role in the film, whom viewers watch tormented and drowning in his grief even as he continues to live deep underwater – in scenes accented by whispering voiceovers from director Stewart. Scored by St. Vincent, Come Swim is surreal and dreamlike.
As the film progresses, we see Kaye guzzling bottles of water – a habit he continues even as he leaves his apartment and returns to work, plagued by painful reminders of the past. Stewart tried to leave interpretation of the film as open as possible, giving very few clues as to its plot or the true origin of its theme.
Stewart told the audience at the Sundance Film Festival that, for some time, she’s been “kind of fixated on having this man sleeping at the bottom of the ocean.” She’s toyed with the idea over the past four years, experimenting through poetry and painting. “I’ve written the same poem again and again and again, and I was like, maybe [I should] do something with it,” she recounted at the premiere.
As a celebrity who has dealt with her fair share of relationship woes while under the microscope scrutiny of the press, one can imagine why Kristen Stewart’s mind would drift to a free-floating existence cut off from the frenzied rest of the world. Stewart told the Los Angeles Times that she doesn’t expect her directorial aspirations to move in the direction of full-length films. But we all know how reliable creatives are with predictions about their own future interests and career trajectory.