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The Girl Under the Waves (2001) Online

The Girl Under the Waves (2001) Online
Original Title :
The Girl Under the Waves
Genre :
Movie / Drama
Year :
Directror :
Jay Anania
Cast :
Jonathan Ames,Isabel Gillies,Savannah Haske
Writer :
Jay Anania
Type :
Time :
1h 20min
Rating :

Four actors, an off-screen narrator, and a director put together an improvisation. Savannah arrives in New York, having arranged to stay in the empty apartment of Michael, an acquaintance. ... See full summary

The Girl Under the Waves (2001) Online

Four actors, an off-screen narrator, and a director put together an improvisation. Savannah arrives in New York, having arranged to stay in the empty apartment of Michael, an acquaintance. His days mixed up, Michael has also told Jonathan he can stay. Jonathan arrives, finds Savannah attractive, and starts talking. Savannah is intrigued, but also, in the back of her mind, recalls something she's heard about Jonathan. As Jonathan and Savannah start to connect, Michael returns, doesn't like what he sees, and male rivalry heats up, exacerbated by the arrival of a fourth person. Can Savannah and Jonathan return to their budding attraction?
Credited cast:
Jonathan Ames Jonathan Ames - Jonathan
Isabel Gillies Isabel Gillies - Isabel
Savannah Haske Savannah Haske - Savannah
David Thornton David Thornton - David

User reviews



Savannah, a young woman from San Francisco, arrives to crash at the New York apartment of a stage magician, David, she met in San Francisco. There she encounters Johnathan, an acquaintance of David's who also has a set of keys to the apartment, a fugitive from the fumes of painting going on in his own apartment. David has apparently forgotten the competing offers of his apartment. There is a certain attraction between Savannah and Johnathan, and he, a charming raconteur, is soon sharing a rather intimate version of his part with her. David returns, strangely antagonistic toward Johnathan, who reciprocates. The atmosphere deteriorates, temporarily interrupted by the arrival of Isabel, a married friend of Johnathan, who has forgotten that he has invited her over to David's place. The film is shot on a more or less continuous take (except for a change of cassette in the camera). The director breaks in frequently with directions to the actors, addresses a running commentary to the audience, and uses title cards, like a silent movie, although sometimes to convey unexpressed thoughts of the characters. The film will hold the interest of those fascinated by improvisational acting, quite impressive here. For others, the all-too-visible clockworks will be merely annoying.. Most of the suspense in the plot, as opposed to the performances, comes, rather awkwardly, from a revelation about Johnathan's past given to the audience by the director five minutes in.


Because of a fluke in my cable provider, I've been hooked on the IFC (Independent Film Channel), which is not supposed to be on my low-end viewing plan. I don't even get MTV, MSNBC, ESPN, or Comedy Central. But I get IFC, which has commercial free movie gems, some of which have MA- and R- ratings. Woooweee!! Indie!!!

This movie was an interesting find, because:

(a) the film is 3 years old and has a very unusual style to it

(b) I have found absolutely no write up on this film, even on ImdB and MRQE, or even Google.

At first I was shocked by the indie atmosphere generated by the filmmaker. Like a Woody Allen movie, it's in many ways a meta-film, one that deconstructs the story and shows its audience how the film is being made. It's so raw in appearance, there's not even a real setting, you just have to imagine it being there.

The director is pretty blunt in making the audience know that the actors playing their roles are just that, actors. In the film's beginning, two actors (Jonathan and Savannah) are told by the director to put on microphones, are then given a background, and are told to improvise their characters in an apartment scene that mainly comprises of a situational conversation. It is also quite meta-filmish a la MTV, because text is used throughout the scenes like one of those reality TV dating shows. The text reveals what is going on in the minds of the characters. It's pretty clever.

Well, as any Indie film watcher can appreciate, all the characters are neurotic, and Jonathan, especially him; he is borderline insane. But all those around him seem pretty borderline too, but in different ways. Jonathan, in fact, is a shy, but bookish, witty, and disarming 30 something writer with a criminal record (age 15). He has a graduate degree from Princeton, a former taxi cab driver, and son of a wealthy family with a chalet in Switzerland as brought ought in the conversation. Everyone knows how neurotic writers can be, but this guy takes the cake.

That's how it all starts. The conversation unfolds in unexpected ways, and really starts to heat up, becomes simultaneously uncomfortable and amusing as two additional characters enter the apartment scene. There's two other scenes that steal the show, one of which is Jonathan's monologue at a theatre outlet, all of course, acted through imagination.

You have to see this movie to appreciate the cleverness of the dialogue (and monologue). I've never seen anything like it, and wound up cracking up on the floor rolling in tears, listening to Jonathan's monologue scene, which is priceless. The girl is hot in an aloof and sensitive manner(as usual in these films), and the other two estranged acquaintances are all whacko.

This movie is like a case study of people, who are all strangers to one another, yet connected by some fateful manner, and are caught up in this guy, David's New York flat. It's like an online chat room, this one being 100 times more neurotic, where words turn into fists, and back word exchanges, and narration.

I don't know if this movie is available on video at all, but I recommend that you tune into the IFC this month to catch it.


Savannah is from California and is coping with the recent death of a close friend. She goes to NYC to stay with a man she barely knows (David). Jonathan, a friend of David's is also staying with David while his floor is being redone. David is away, and while awkward at first, Jonathan and Savannah get to know one another.

Jonathan is an awkward man with a troubled past who quickly becomes attracted to Savannah. Savannah while distracted by her own emotions works to unravel his past. David returns home, and the situation becomes further awkward.

The plot is heavily narrated in the beginning by a third party, and captions are used to reveal insights into the characters' thoughts. The actors are acting the story out in a small theater. Patience and a good attention span are a must!