David Reviews

 "You're not an artist, Peggy. You solve problems." Don Draper.

GOT FIVE: SWIMMING.
1 September 2021

DAVID swam for the first time in two years yesterday, and his body demands vengeance. In the meantime, here are a few ads and music videos that complement this summer's Olympic and Paralympic waterworks...

Toyota, 'Upstream' (2021)

Toyota take a lyrical dive into the journey of thirteen-time Paralympic gold medalist Jessica Long in this enchanting commercial. Framed around her difficult start in life - adopted as a baby from Siberia with a rare medical condition - the film follows her long road from there to sporting glory.

Director Tarsem (no stranger to water courtesy of Levi's) handles the film's narative with a delicate hand here, allowing understated voiceover performances to shine with genuine emotional resonance. This isn't a story about overcoming disability but rather of becoming oneself, and it's all the stronger for making that significant delineation clear [Syd Briscoe]


giffgaff, 'The Big Swim' (2017)

The representation of freedom in giffgaff's 2017 ad is gloriously over the top. Using a mixture of in-camera effects and CGI techniques, a woman is shown hurtling into the sky and beyond as she steps off a diving board and heads up instead of down.

Calmly ascending through the outer layers of our planet's atmosphere, she passes the International space Station and the moon before boomeranging around Mars and heading home. Her progress is monitored by her concerned husband, with a little help from the boffins whose lab he gate-crashes. [Jason Stone]


Under Armour, 'Michael Phelps' (2016)

A glance at Michael Phelps's CV is enough to make anyone feel as though they're doggy paddling through life. As this brutal, brilliant ad for Under Armour shows, the broadest shoulders in swimming bear a weight that borders on the superhuman.

With his beard and chiselled physique, there is a hint of the beast about Phelps as he hits the gym. Close-ups capture every sinew being stretched to the limit, while the camera has its work cut out keeping up with the man in full flow. Yet the cost of this effort is palpable. [Andrew MacGregor]


Short Film, 'Johanna Under the Ice' (2016)

Having recovered from a biking accident thanks to cold water therapy, Johanna Nordblad embraced what lies below the icy surface by becoming a world record-holding freediver. This entrancing profile from director Ian Derry captures both the alien beauty of an Arctic lake and the human desire to stay in control.

Those of a nervous disposition may feel obliged to look away as her flirtation with a very obvious catastrophe appears to form part of the appeal. Despite swimming just inches below the surface, the thick coating of ice looks like an impenetrable barrier between Nordblad and the world above. [Andrew MacGregor]


Naughty Boy, 'Runnin' (Lose It All)' (2015)

This astonishing promo by Charlie Robins for Naughty Boy's 'Runnin' is a simple tale of boy meets girl. Its key point of difference is that they appear to live underwater... and no matter how hard you look, there's nothing that suggests the action could have possibly been crafted in post.

That's because it's all filmed for real. How? Well, if you're Robins, you ask free-diving world champion Guillaume Nery to play lead male, free-diving champion Alice Mondolo to play his love, and fellow champ and filmmaker Julie Gaultier to collaborate. Everything from the way the pair move - fluid and majestic - to the stunning grade and the sheer clarity of the images leaves us marvelling. [Alice May]


Stories

TV KLAXON: CRIME.

76 Ltd director James Strong likes a one-word title. After Liar and Vigil comes Crime, a six-part adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel of the same name.


FRIENDS ELECTRIC PLAY THE FRAME GAME.

Danish motion design studio Frame have completed their move to Friends Electric.


IT'S TAOS/S FOR RATTLING STICK.

Siblings Aaron and Winston Tao aka taos/s have joined the UK directing roster at Rattling Stick.


FILM KLAXON: THE IMPATIENT MAN

A new comedy short from director Louis Norton shows not everyone embraced mindfulness and stoicism during lockdown.


AMBITIOUS START-UP CREATORS INC OPENS IN LONDON

Jani Guest's ambitious venture Creators Inc has flung open its London doors.


TV KLAXON: 'THE HOUSE' BY NEXUS STUDIOS

Fans of David Olusoga's A House Through Time have a stop-motion-animated treat in store.


FREDDIE LEYDEN HEADS TO THE VISIONARIES

The Visionaries have added discerning director Freddie Leyden to their ranks for representation on a freelance basis.


ABSOLUTE SCORE THREE.

Patrick Keogh, Rasel Hussain, and Risto Puukko have joined the CG wing at Absolute.


CHARLIE MORETON JOINS THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS

The Assembly Rooms have added editor Charlie Moreton to their esteemed roster.


MISSING LINK FILMS SIGN ABENA TAYLOR-SMITH.

Up-and-coming director Abena Taylor-Smith has commercials in her sights as part of the Missing Link Films roster.


RIFF RAFF FILMS ENLIST TANU MUIÑO.

In-form promo director Tanu Muiño has completed her move to Riff Raff Films for UK/Dutch representation.


VW AND MENTAL HEALTH UK: CLOSED FOR BUSINESS.

VW Commercial Vehicles and Mental Health UK hit the high street to combat overworking.


SUPERNOVA HEAD TO YOU ARE HERE

You Are Here have added South American directing duo Supernova to their roster for representation.


THE CORNER SHOP NAB VINCENT RENÉ-LORTIE.

The Corner Shop have signed director Vincent René-Lortie for work in the UK, the US, and the Netherlands.


KNUCKLEHEAD SIGN DAVE BULLIVANT

Knucklehead have signed director and photographer Dave Bullivant for representation in the UK and Amsterdam.


JOHN ALLISON AND CHRIS BOVILL JOIN PABLO LONDON.

Creative tag team John Allison and Chris Bovill have joined Pablo London on a permanent basis.


TV KLAXON: HAWKEYE

Disney+'s Hawkeye focuses on Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and his protégé Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld).


CAROLINE KONING ARRIVES AT NEW LAND.

Dutch filmmaker Caroline Koning has joined New Land for representation in the UK and Scandinavia.


GREAT GUNS ADD JESSE VILE

Great Guns have added noted documentary filmmaker Jesse Vile to their roster.


RINGAN

It's nearly two weeks since we heard the shocking news that Ringan Ledwidge had died at the age of just 50.


CURATE ADDS PRANO BAILEY-BOND

Curate have added rising star Prano Bailey-Bond to their bespoke roster.


SILENCE AT SPINDLE.

Known for her ability to cut through the noise, director Silence has joined Spindle's roster for representation.


CHARLIE ROBINS JOINS AGILE FILMS.

Music video whizz Charlie Robins has joined the promos roster at Agile Films.


DAVID BERTRAM LANDS AT BLINK.

French creative-turned-director David Bertram has joined Blink's rosters in London and Amsterdam.


WHITEHOUSE POST ELECT BEN CANNY.

Whitehouse Post have signed editor Ben Canny to their London roster.


Stories

David Reviews - Lovely Lenzie Ltd, Woodbourne House, Seven Sisters, Lenzie, G66 3AW. Telephone: +44 141 776 7766. Editor: Jason Stone.