In a series of interlocking episodes, Dryden Goodwin’s 28-minute film explores the physical and emotional dynamics of a group of young female divers. Portraying the girls on their own, interacting with each other, and under the rapt, imploring gaze of their coaches, Goodwin’s camera combines extreme close-up with oblique, atmospheric detail to illuminate their intensity of focus and their idealisation of grace and ’flow’. Looking beyond the arc of the dive itself to consider its metaphorical, even metaphysical resonance as a rite of passage between different states, Goodwin’s taut, pinpoint imagery and vibrant, serpentine soundtrack lend the divers’ devotion and zen-like composure an ethereal, otherworldly quality that makes each sudden plummet into darkness even more poetic and poignant. In this, the title, ’Poised’, has multiple meanings - evoking the space between practicing and perfecting a new dive, between stillness and movement, absorption and play; between being utterly ’in the moment’ and on the brink of imminent, inescapable change.
Made with the generous cooperation of Crystal Palace Diving Club
Camera, Editing, Music and Sound: Dryden Goodwin
Research developed with Elsa Bradley, Msc.
Production and Shooting Assistant: Imran Perretta
Editing Assistant: Jo Cole
With special thanks to: Chris Snode, Steven Bode, Caroline Smith, Karen Murrey, Mike Jones, Jane Won, Maya Piotrowska
Commissioned and Curated by Film and Video Umbrella and De La Warr Pavilion
Funded by The Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England.