As an actress, she’s worked with a number of today’s auteurs such as Woody Allen, Jodie Foster, Olivier Assayas and Sean Penn, and now Kristen Stewart is stepping behind the camera with her directorial debut short “Come Swim“. Reminiscent of Terrence Malick’s cinematic poetry in its metaphorical, visceral images and whispering voice-overs by Stewart, Come Swim follows a young man’s emotional pan as he is over-saturated and then parched by water. He’s played by Josh Kaye, a non-pro whose natural talent Stewart was drawn to and harnessed throughout the 17-minute piece.
“The ways in which you grandiose your own pain is something that I was interested in because if you’re not inside of them, it’s seemingly normal and mundane, but when you’re inside of that, you’re inside a graphic novel,”says the Twilight actress.
Stewart dabbled with the idea of “one man sleeping on the bottom of the ocean” for about four years via poems and a painting. In an effort to sidestep CGI, she employed ‘neural style transfer’, a type of artificial intelligence which reconfigure images, to transfer her painting to the filmed images during the opening and closing sequences of the movie. Timed with Come Swim‘s premiere at Sundance, the research paper“Bringing Impressionism to Life with Neural Style Transfer in Come Swim”that Stewart co-authored with the film’s producer David Shapiro and Adobe research engineer Bhautik J Joshi detailing the A.I.’s methodology was dropped on Thursday on the Cornell University library website. “It’s not a small movie,” asserts Stewart, “It’s not like actors in a room talking to each other which you would definitely expect an actor to start off with (as a directorial project), myself too. Why did I make my first experience so difficult? I’m a little masochistic.” And in regards to future directing projects, Stewart will be back.
Stewart’s first directorial effort, the short film ‘Come Swim,’ is premiering at Sundance. Kristen Stewart is at the Sundance Film Festival with her directorial debut, a short film called Come Swim.
Stewart, of course known for her acting career, says she has wanted to direct long before she was acting. And she’s already figured out what she’d going to make her next film about — and it’s a timely topic.
“My next thing is going to kick ass. It’s about gun control,” she told THR while visiting The Hollywood Reporter’s Sundance lounge, adding that Refinery29 has signed on to make the film (Come Swim was produced via the Refinery29′s Shatterbox Anthology).
Stewart came to THR’s lounge on Friday, just after Donald Trump had been sworn in as president. Politics was very much on the minds of many at the festival.
“You don’t have to be a politically involved person to be uber aware of the fact that very basic humanitarian ideas are being so incredibly trampled on,” said Stewart.
Stewart’s first film Come Swim is described as a diptych of one man’s day — half impressionist and half realist portraits.
“My movie is about some guy who goes through heartbreak and is super sad about it, and that was my friend thing I was thinking about for three years. And it feels really first-world white people problems, and I came here a little bit nervous about it considering the timing because people are going to be like — that doesn’t matter,” she said. “But I feel like things are going to shift in this really beautiful way.“