Original Dutch film title:
DE ZEE DIE DENKT
Essay about perception, by means of a fictional story about a writer with writer’s block.
Incredible optical illusions in a story in a story in a story helps the surprised viewer finally to find out that he has been watching himself all along.
The Sea That Thinks is a surprising film about itself. A film overflowing with twists and turns and new angles. It focuses on Bart, a scriptwriter who is writing the script for this film. In the film, Bart himself plays the scriptwriter writing the script of The Sea That Thinks. He types what he does and he does what he types.
In his film, he finds the answer to the urgent question: How do we find happiness? He uses stunning examples to show us that our world is only to be found in our consciousness. What is real and what is illusion? Do we believe in our dream world while we dream? Do we believe in the reality of film while we see it? And why? His combination of pictures and text has a hypnotic effect on the viewer. It provides an exciting, dislocating and humorous adventure.
Later it also becomes apparent that the film is not about this tormented scriptwriter at all. In a game filled with optical illusions and continually changing points of view, the surprised viewers gradually find out they are looking at themselves: How do I observe? What do I assume to be true? What do I think I see? What do I think I am? The viewer turns out to bear a striking similarity to the Sea that thinks it’s a Tree.
Bart Klever (scriptwriter Bart Klever)
Rick de Leeuw (actor Rick de Leeuw)
Don Duyns (director Don Duyns)
Devika Strooker (Bart’s girlfriend Marga)
script, camera & direction: Gert de Graaff
light: Franc van Zutphen, Bert Hogenes
sound: Alex Booy
art direction: Floris Vos, Vincent de Pater
costumes & make-up: Mia De Jong
editing: Gert de Graaff, Jan Dop
sound design: Alex Booy
re-recording mixing: Danny Van Spreuwel, Jan Willem Van Den Brink
production manager: Annemiek van Gorp
line producer: René Goossens
producers: René Scholten, René Huybrechtse
a film by Studio Nieuwe Gronden and Theorema Film Productie in co-production with NOB and NPS televisie
this film is financially supported by:
Netherlands Film Fund
Stimuleringsfonds Nederlandse Culturele Omroepproducties
Documentary – Media Programme
Rotterdams Fonds voor de Film en Audiovisuele Media
Uitgeverij Ank Hermes
Nob Field Productions
International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 2000: *Joris Ivens Award 2000
Teplice Art Fiction festival 2001: Golden Key Award for Best Camera & Special F.I.C.C. Jury Award
Dahlonega Film Festival 2001: Experimental Feature DIFF Award
Rhode Island Film Festival 2001: Grand Prix Best Experimental Feature
Winecountry International Film Festival 2001: Best Feature Film Award
Nomination European Discovery 2001: Fassbinder Award