Homebodies

By Yianni Warnock | Drama
A man takes bath with Christmas lights as his wife flirts with a stranger online.

Andrew and Shannon are a couple living in suburban Melbourne. Shannon cooks dinner while indulging in raunchy talk online with a seductive stranger. Andrew is taking a bath, wrapped in Christmas lights and clearly in crisis. Both people seem to be living separate lives, right in the same home.

But when things don’t go as planned for Andrew — and the snafu also gets in the way of Shannon’s own directives — the two are forced to come out of their bubbles and come together.

Writer-director Yianni Warnock’s short film is filmed much like a drama full of excellent craftsmanship, with elegant, restrained camerawork and cinematography, performances that are grounded in emotional truth and suffering and a full orchestral score underpinning the most dramatic moments of the narrative.

Yet the short is also undeniably funny, with the complex, ironic writing finding its humor initially in the juxtaposition of urgent, deep existential suffering with the quotidian boredom of everyday suburban life. The opening scene sets the tone, as Shannon prepares dinner, all while talking to her sexy online stranger. The two tasks couldn’t be more different, and yet Shannon approaches both with the same harried, preoccupied efficiency, trying to squeeze a bit of sexiness into the busyness of dinner hour. Beyond its humor, the scene says so much about who Shannon is and the life she lives — or doesn’t live, as the case may be — with Andrew.

Meanwhile, in a parallel narrative thread well-handled with deft cross-cutting and editing, Andrew is trying to electrocute himself in the bathtub. Yet this task proves unexpectedly difficult, and the scene shifts into understated yet undeniable dark comedy as he struggles.

The humor comes close to farce, but it never falls into overexaggeration or a sense of the antic. Like the rest of the film, it remains grounded in the terrible pain created by alienation and disconnection, all while pinpointing the absurdities of modern human life that likely got us there in the first place.

It’s an absurdity that prevents Andrew from completing his sad, terrible act, propelling the two characters in “Homebodies” into an interaction that is a marvel of tone, direction and performance. It encapsulates the distance between two people who once loved one another and share a life together but not much else, and it forms the sophisticated punchline to the film’s overarching scenario.

But it’s also strangely haunting as a final note of despair, ennui and loneliness — and a perfect illustration of the idea that nothing can make you feel lonelier than being unseen or unheard by another human being, especially one who is supposed to love and care about you.




You Might Also Like:

Pony

By Candice Carella | Drama
A single mother leaves her young daughter with a rock musician uncle.

Frimas

By Marianne Farley | Drama
A woman goes to an illegal abortion clinic, following the adoption of an anti-abortion law.

A La Cara

By Javier Marco | Drama
A famous reporter confronts a man for insulting her on Twitter.

Mousie

By David Bartlett | Drama
A young Roma girl is discovered by Nazis as they cleanse the streets of 'undesirables'.

Ganef

By Mark Rosenblatt | Drama
A little girl thinks she sees a family cleaner steal a precious ornament. Then it escalates.

Leylak

By Scott Aharoni and Dennis Latos | Drama
A father keeps a painful secret from his daughter during COVID -- but risks losing her.

Free Fall

By Emmanuel Tenenbaum | Drama
A young trader jumps into the biggest trade of his life amid the September 11 attacks.

Champ

By Ben Tricklebank | Drama
A 14-year-old is expected to be a man. But he doesn't want to grow up that way.

The Recordist

By Indianna Bell and Josiah Allen | Drama
A young actress has an affair with the director. The sound recordist blackmails her.

Bruiser

By Miles Warren | Drama
A young boy explores his manhood after his father fights at a bowling alley.

Sylvia

By Richard Prendergast | Drama
A single mother takes her family on a road trip. But it's to an unwanted destination.

Second Best

By Alyssa McClelland | Comedy
Twin sisters turn into rivals when one's gymnastics career steals the spotlight.

No More Wings

By Abraham Adeyemi | Drama
2 friends meet at their favorite fried chicken shop. But their lives have diverged.

Avarya

By Gokalp Gonen | Animation
A man is trapped on a spaceship after his robot overseer finds every planet uninhabitable.

Feeling Through (Oscars)

By Doug Roland | Drama
A homeless teen meets a deaf-blind man who changes his life forever...



Your favorite short films you haven't seen yet.

Inspiring and insightful. Entertaining and enlightening.
That's what you can expect here: no fluff. Just a steady
stream of the best films delivered to your inbox.