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jim thornton
January 5th, 2011, 10:11 PM
Did anybody else happen to catch the PBS show, Independent Lens, this week? There was an hour long documentary entitled Men Who Swim, and I must say it was one of the best things I have seen on TV in years, and the best documentary since Sherman's March. Funny, poignant, and beautifully filmed, especially the underwater stuff.

I almost didn't watch it because the topic seemed self-consciously whacky: a group of Swedish guys approaching 40 who decide to start what they believe is the first (and only) male synchronized swimming team.

You can see some clips that the director posted here: http://www.directorsnotes.com/2010/06/14/men-who-swim-dylan-williams/

I suspect it might be available, too, for watching in its entirety on the pbs website.

Anyhow, I think it really captures what so many of us forumites seem to love about the swimming community in general--the friendships we make, the laughs we get to share, and a reassuring sense of camaraderie as we all approach the aging process together.

Two erect thumbs straight up!

ALM
January 5th, 2011, 10:19 PM
I read a review of this movie earlier this year and I've been wanting to see it. I will have to look at the listings for our PBS stations.

nkfrench
January 5th, 2011, 10:49 PM
Sounds like a fun show.

When I was in high school we had a (girls) synchro swimming club after the HS swim season was over. We put on a show in the spring, kind of like a dance recital in the water.

The boy's swim team was recruited to assist with some duets/trios; and they performed a boy's only number. I forget what music they picked, but it was fun to watch as they did butterfly and flipturns and kicking with kickboards and big splashes in synch with some creative yet simple choreography. Pretty sure they wore their team Speedos - no leotards/tights/makeup. I think everyone enjoyed watching the guys swim.

Synchro teaches a lot that carries over to "speed swimming" - we did a lot of drylands working on the core muscles, we were great at sculling and breath control, and we had very good spatial awareness.

isobel
January 5th, 2011, 11:17 PM
Is this the whole thing? Very poignant/funny.

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/men-who-swim/

Now we have a USMS team dance (Pop and Loc), celebration song (Al Green's "Let's Stay Together"), and the possibility of opening all meets with a men's sychronized swim.

Rykno
January 6th, 2011, 07:13 AM
there was a swedish comedy from 2008 too called "Allt flyter"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1209367/

waves101
January 6th, 2011, 08:14 AM
One of my best memories from age group swimming was doing a syncronized swimming routine (for fun) after our warmup but before the meet started. I remember lots of laughs from both the competitors and the spectators.

pwb
January 6th, 2011, 10:33 AM
there was a swedish comedy from 2008 too called "Allt flyter"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1209367/Yeah, it was released in the US as "The Swimsuit Issue" and was funny (http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/05/12/movies/12swimsuit.html).

ALM
January 6th, 2011, 12:25 PM
Is this the whole thing? Very poignant/funny.

http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/men-who-swim/



That's the trailer. The movie has a 58-minute running time.

jim thornton
January 6th, 2011, 12:44 PM
there was a swedish comedy from 2008 too called "Allt flyter"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1209367/

This was a documentary made by director Dylan Williams.

It sounds like Allt Flyter was more of a fictional movie, though it's hard to imagine the two directors don't know about each other's efforts (and perhaps even wonder if the other is a plagiarist!)

Ryan, are you Swedish or an immigrant to Sweden? If the latter, the movie makes the point that it can be hard to make friends in Sweden if you aren't born there, but that the best route for doing so is to "join a club"--which is precisely what filmmaker Williams decides to do at the outset of his documentary.

All in all, a very charming glimpse into the search for meaning, friendship, and -- to a much lesser extent, exercise! -- in middle aged men.

I can definitely relate.

orca1946
January 6th, 2011, 01:22 PM
Yes, we do make friends among the pain & work. As we see our goals develop, we see ourselves as a part of a group of like minded other swimmers.
I do look forward to swimming with the team.

Rykno
January 7th, 2011, 02:16 AM
Ryan, are you Swedish or an immigrant to Sweden? If the latter, the movie makes the point that it can be hard to make friends in Sweden if you aren't born there, but that the best route for doing so is to "join a club"--which is precisely what filmmaker Williams decides to do at the outset of his documentary.


I'm a military brat, born in Texas, raised around the world. But settled in Sweden when I couldn't convince my wife to move to the US.

It is hard to make friends in Sweden. Swedes are very nice people, but can be very closed at the same time. I had lots of acquaintances the first 5-6 yrs I lived here, most of them through my wife's circle of friends or my work. But in 2007 when we moved 80 miles north to a new town and I picked up swimming again it made it easier for me to make friends.

But the problem with making friends is not unique to Sweden. Most places I moved, I made swimming friends long before I had school friends or neighborhood friends. People tend to like the number of friends (contacts) they have and are not as willing to add the new guy/girl.

analazy
January 7th, 2011, 03:33 AM
Real friendship is hard to accomplish… lots of “social rules” for humans to “open” themselves.
natural and safe to stay among the ones we “think” predictable…
The swimming Master “world” as we are “undressed” is more open and casual:applaud:

babichoux
July 7th, 2012, 05:28 PM
This fits a point I'm trying to make! We need more men in synchro! Just back from World Masters in Italy, and still frustrated that men are still not allowed to participate in synchronized swimming international competitions. It is time for a change! Please support this cause by visiting our page and signing our petition! Our goal is to have mixed categories at the FINA World Masters 2014 in Montreal, Canada! Please help make this happen:
https://www.facebook.com/SynchroMenAtFinaWorlds (https://www.facebook.com/SynchroMenAtFinaWorlds)

mcnair
July 8th, 2012, 08:39 AM
I spent big chunks of time as a runner on the treadmill at the YMCA during the winter months; hardly ever talked to anyone (or was talked to), though I would see the same people over and over again. I've met more people there in the last year of swimming than I did the previous decade of running. Ironically, since you can't really hold a conversation underwater. Maybe it is the attire (or lack thereof)!?

jim thornton
July 10th, 2012, 01:54 PM
I spent big chunks of time as a runner on the treadmill at the YMCA during the winter months; hardly ever talked to anyone (or was talked to), though I would see the same people over and over again. I've met more people there in the last year of swimming than I did the previous decade of running. Ironically, since you can't really hold a conversation underwater. Maybe it is the attire (or lack thereof)!?

I think it's the interval training. You can't talk during the swimming phase, but you pretty much can't avoid talking in between sets. You are all gathered together in close proximity.

Rookies are arguing about who gets to go first on the next set.

Veterans are arguing about who gets to go last!

You also have the built in simultaneous scheduling--everyone shows up at roughly the same time, swims the practice, and heads to the lockerroom afterwards.

At our Y, there is a steam bath and Jacuzzi, and a decent chunk of our team head to this before getting dressed. Another opportunity for regular, relaxed, endorphin-fueled conversation and conviviality.

I think the social component of masters swimming may actually be more important for most of us that the physical shape component, though we tell ourselves it's the latter that motivates us to keep coming, year after year.

I love masters swimming!

chowsh
July 10th, 2012, 10:38 PM
er, hijacking this thread, but it is about men who swim

http://www.menshealth.com/olympics/ryan-lochte

just saw the article in men's health today at my library. nice article by jim thorton!

jim thornton
July 10th, 2012, 11:53 PM
er, hijacking this thread, but it is about men who swim

http://www.menshealth.com/olympics/ryan-lochte

just saw the article in men's health today at my library. nice article by jim thorton!

Thanks so much for the kind words . He came off as a Trulylikable gent. Very down to earth. I will try to post some short video on my blog,

__steve__
July 11th, 2012, 10:08 AM
I remember reading that article. Didn't even realize it was written by the same person who invented the "Thornton Coefficient" .

ALM
July 11th, 2012, 10:49 PM
Did anybody else happen to catch the PBS show, Independent Lens, this week? There was an hour long documentary entitled Men Who Swim, and I must say it was one of the best things I have seen on TV in years, and the best documentary since Sherman's March. Funny, poignant, and beautifully filmed, especially the underwater stuff.

I almost didn't watch it because the topic seemed self-consciously whacky: a group of Swedish guys approaching 40 who decide to start what they believe is the first (and only) male synchronized swimming team.

You can see some clips that the director posted here: http://www.directorsnotes.com/2010/06/14/men-who-swim-dylan-williams/


Back to the original topic, I just discovered that "Men Who Swim" is available through Netflix online! This web site is great for searching the Netflix database and then adding titles to your Netflix online queue: http://instantwatcher.com/

orca1946
July 12th, 2012, 12:52 AM
Netflix here I come!!!:bolt:

ALM
September 24th, 2012, 11:41 AM
Back to the original topic, I just discovered that "Men Who Swim" is available through Netflix online! This web site is great for searching the Netflix database and then adding titles to your Netflix online queue: http://instantwatcher.com/

I finally watched "Men Who Swim" this weekend on Netflix. Jim is right, it is very good and it conveys part of what a lot of us like about Masters swimming - the camaraderie and friendships.

orca1946
September 24th, 2012, 12:11 PM
I sent it to the team for a test run!