That alone sets Diving Bell apart from other movies Iíve seen. I canít remember a film that has influenced me physically while watching the film. There were times when watching this that I too felt paralyzed. Schnabel would restrict the audienceís field of view as if you were seeing the world from the main characterís point of view. He used this technique for maybe 60% of the film and I found it annoying as a movie watcher, but loved it as a movie fan.
I did feel that the film struggled when toggling back and forth from the present day to the flashbacks. I was confused as to why some of the flashback scenes were included and I was completely uninterested in the fantasy scenes. I realize that his imagination was a big part of his ability to cope with the situation, but we didnít really need a whole sequence dedicated to him eating seafood. I also didnít think the flashbacks were purposeful enough in furthering the main story. Some sequences felt out of place, or incomplete.
Despite a few areas that needed improvement, I was still moved by the film and found the story fascinating. I absolutely loved the way Schnabel told the present day story and the performances all around were top notch. Even if I didnít agree with some of the choices, this was a polished film that will definitely impact anyone that watches it.
Submerged (12:40): This is your typical making-of featurette with appearances from everyone involved with the film. They talk a little about being Americans and making a French film, which I found interesting. I also liked that they showed behind the scenes footage rather than movie scenes.
A Cinematic Vision (7:14): This was great because the cinematography was the highlight of the film for me. The cinematographer and director talk about their choices and how they created certain looks. This was very interesting.
Charlie Rose Interview with Julian Schnabel (20:44): Rose is one of the best and this interview is done pretty well. They donít stick to the movie the entire time and Julian talks about his life, his fears and then explores the various themes of the film. Itís typical Rose, which is a very good thing.
There are also some Previews