Article written

  • on 20.09.2010
  • at 05:18 PM
  • by The Editor

Five Things about The Water (2009) 0


The Water is poetic, beautiful, and heartbreaking. It’s a haunting, almost wordless elegy to lost love. It’s a short movie that is not widely known, or easy to find. Nevertheless, it’s an artwork you might want to check out.

The short movie was directed by Kevin Drew. Drew was originally a musician, leading man and songwriter on a band called Broken Social Scene. Beside pursuing his artistic passion with music, Drew also created some music videos through Broken Social Scene’s side project called Experimental Parachute Moment.

The idea of creating the movie already surfaced long before its actual production. Drew came up with the idea, based upon Leslie Feist‘s song “The Water.” He wanted to create a movie based on the emotion of the song. He proceed by offering Feist the challenge to perform on his movie. Feist, also a member of Broken Social Scene and Drew’s former girlfriend, accepted the challenge, although her experience in working on theater plays seemed to traumatized more than it excites her. The next cast that joined the small group was David Fox, Drew’s favorite Canadian actor.

It was not until Drew met long time friend, Cillian Murphy, that the story is ready for production. His key inspiration came when he met Murphy and noticed that he and Feist had similar eyes. “It’s about the beauty of their eyes,” said Drew, “their eyes are going to tell the story.” It’s only after the short movie is ready for distribution that Feist told Murphy about this, during an interview with Dazed magazine. “It was something in your [Murphy's] eyes that sparked the whole storyline. He [Drew] didn’t tell you that because he didn’t want to freak you out!”

Kevin Drew chose the classic tale of loved one coming back to life. The movie was shot in January 2008 for two days. Despite the title, there is nothing watery about the setting. It all took place within the wintry climate of Canada. The end result was an eerie short movie with Leslie Feist’s haunting song “The Water” playing on the background, highlighting the movie’s mesmerizing scenes.

These are Five Things about The Water:


Kevin Drew, the Canadian musician/songwriter was born in September 9, 1976. The rockstar founded indie band, Broken Social Scene, with Brendan Canning in 1999. BSS is not just a band, but also a network of artist. Emily Haines, a sometime BSS’er and lead singer of the Toronto band Metric, put it, “somewhere between a tribe and a cult.”

BSS is characterized by a very large number of sounds, grand orchestrations featuring guitars, horns, woodwinds, and violins, unusual song structures, and an experimental, and sometimes chaotic production style from David Newfeld, who produced the second and third albums. BSS is considered Toronto’s Nirvana, without — so far — the troubled-rock-star antics or the anomie and with a social agenda that puts collective music making above individual success.

Drew grew up in Toronto and got his creative start attending high school at the prestigious Etobicoke School of the Arts along with two future members of BSS, Emily Haines and Amy Millan. In 2007 he recorded his first solo release, Spirit If…, the first in a proposed series of solo records by various members of BSS.

Drew was married to Jo-ann Goldsmith, a social worker five years his senior and an occasional trumpet player in BSS.

Leslie Feist (or just Feist) started her own punk band, Placebo, at the age of 15 and won a Battle of the Bands contest. This girl used to sing grunge tunes at the top of her lungs until she strained out her voice and moved to Toronto, and then Paris, to take a break from it all.

The Canadian singer/songwriter was born in Nova Scotia on February 13th 1976, but she spent most of her formative years in Cowtown, carving out a musical path that would end up taking her around the world. As a child, Feist spent time in Saskatchewan and then Calgary. By the mid-’90s, she had left Calgary for Toronto where she helped form rock conglomerate Broken Social Scene with Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew.

She recorded her first major solo release, Let it Die, in 2001 and the rest is history — Leslie Feist became Feist, Canada’s indie queen.

Feist has had a big year in 2008 due in large part to the recognition earned by the use of her “1 2 3 4″ song in the iPod Nano commercial. Time magazine named “1234″ one of The 10 Best Songs of 2007.

Her third solo album, “The Reminder” had sold worldwide over 1,000,000 copies and is certified gold in the U.S. The album also won a 2008 Juno Award for “Album of the Year” on 6 April 2008 in Calgary, Alberta.


David Fox is an acclaimed Canadian actor. He has appeared at the Stratford Festival in key roles, had a continuing role in the much beloved television series Road to Avonlea, and won a Dora Mavor Moore Canadian theatre) award for his performance in The Drawer Boy at Theatre Passe Muraille in 1999.

4. 8 WORDS

Throughout the fifteen minutes duration of the movie, there were only eight words spoken by both the Father and Son character. The lines sound like this:

Son: “You look good, Dad.”
Father: “I think it’s time.”

Although there’s not much spoken words, the story beautifully unfolds on its own through the similarity and intensity between Feist and Murphy’s eyes.


An elderly father (David Fox) and his son (Cillian Murphy) pulled a mummy from a frozen lake, the corpse of their wife and mother, played by Leslie Feist. Her body is taken home, thawed and somehow restored to life.

Feist was the same age as Murphy and much younger than Fox, making for an interesting emotional dynamic between the reunited family. Long, contemplative moments defined the film and accumulate to an emotional head when Feist’s song began to narrate the drama.

The rift between mother and son, the tenderness between husband and wife, the languid and beautiful shots of wintertime – all aptly compliment Feist’s music and harness its emotional weight.

Although viewers could somewhat guess what the storyline is all about, the interpretation of the core message of the movie is still debatable. “It seemed like everyone sort of had their own interpretations of the story, and so it was interesting to see where we ended up with what it was,” said Drew.


“In At The Deep End”
“Feist Gets Heavy in”The Water”"
“Kevin Drew Talks Feist Song Short-Film Adaptation”
“Cillian Murphy Takes to “The Water”"
“Feist in Kevin Drew’s The Water”
“Guided by (Many, Many) Voices”
“Kevin Drew”
“Leslie Feist”
“Feist Nominated for Five Junos”

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