the drowning room

Reynold Reynolds and Patrick Jolley 1999, Ireland/USA, 35 mm, 10’ 30’’, b/w

commissioned byTemple Bar Properties, Dublin,
"A sequence of domestic vignettes from the sunken suburbs. In the house, the stagnant atmosphere has slowly thickened to liquid. The inhabitants try to carry on as normal but beyond the borders of asphyxiation, communication is limited and expression difficult. Filmed entirely underwater in a submerged house to create an atmosphere unlike any other film."

Reynold Reynolds and Patrick Jolley

Shot in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Billed as "An Underwater Soap Opera", The drowning room constructs an oppressive, unsettling domestic narrative that is filmed completely underwater. Shot inside a sunken set, The drowning room’s liquid atmosphere is thick with tension, suspense, and ambiguously strange possibilities. Riffing on Sigmund Freud’s notion of the uncanny "the familiar turned bizarrely foreign" Jolley and Reynold’s film makes of a common drawing-room drama an anomalous, oddly frightening, even weirdly portentous experience. As a short film The drowning room has won awards at The Sundance Film Festival (2000) and at The SXSW Film Festival (2000).

(Roebling Hall)
e 19