The invention of cinema coincides almost exactly with the appearance of the first private domestic swimming pools — both are synonymous with modernity. And with the heyday of American domestic pools from the 1940s onwards, it was inevitable that Hollywood would begin to focus on this ambiguous symbol of health and well-being, but also of luxury and exclusion, that all its stars and directors possessed and enjoyed. Moreover it’s not for nothing if the classic autobiographical dissection of Tinsel Town, Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950), opens with a pool scene. Today swimming pools still often play a key cinematic role as the catalyst and locus of desires and passions. For the exhibition Domestic Pools at the Villa Noailles, we invite you to the PIN–UP POOL PARTY, where you too can enjoy the thrills — and frissons — that are aroused, enflamed and crystallized by domestic swimming pools on the silver screen.

PIN–UP POOL PARTY (2018); 42:14 min.; HD video reel. Edited by Anthony Valdez.

Film excerpts in order of appearance:
Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)
Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971)
The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovitch, 1971)
Gods and Monsters (Bill Condon, 1998)
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (Jack Sholder, 1985)
La Mala educación (Pedro Almodóvar, 2004)
The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)
Youth (Paolo Sorrentino, 2015)
Mommy Dearest (Frank Perry, 1981)
Shivers (David Cronenberg, 1975)
A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino, 2015)
La Piscine (Jacques Deray, 1969)
Le Maître-nageur (Jean-Louis Trintignant, 1978)
Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997)
Legally Blonde (Robert Luketic, 2001)
Swimming Pool (François Ozon, 2003)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Amy Heckerling, 1982)
Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)
The Swimmer (Eleanor and Frank Perry, 1968)
Diamonds Are Forever (Guy Hamilton, 1971)
Something’s Got to Give (George Cukor, 1962)
Black Heaven (Gilles Marchand, 2010)
Cruel Intentions (Roger Kumble, 1999)
Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
Romeo and Juliet (Baz Luhrmann, 1996)
Oblivion (Joseph Kosinski, 2013)
Passengers (Morten Tyldum, 2016)
Wild Things (John McNaughton, 1998)
Showgirls (Paul Verhoeven, 1995)
The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann, 2013)

Text by Andrew Ayers.

The exhibition Domestic Pools (curated Benjamin Lafore, Sébastien Martinez-Barat, and Audrey Teichmann) will be on view at the Villa Noailles in Hyeres, France, between February 11 and March 18, 2018.