“The song that saved you when you were fourteen?”
“If I tell you, you will know me.”
We’ve all been there. Some of us wanted to stay forever. Others, count our blessings every day that we may never have to return.
Young, single, we made our way to the bar where, hidden within the dim lighting and the intoxicating thumpa-thumpa of the music, limitless possibility beckoned us. It was a sanctuary, a safe haven. It was a place we could be ourselves, free of the disapproving eyes of the world. For some, the experience was habitual and as addictive as any drug. For others, it was a final “what-the-hell-have-I-got-to-lose” attempt at finding a partner.
One Night is the 2012 Swedish short film written and directed by Joséphine Adams about two young women, drawn together by a shared desire for intimacy.
As the night begins, it’s clear that women bring very different sets of expectations and experiences to their fledgling romance. Bathed in red light, they fumble to make a start. It’s uncomfortable and intimate and uncomfortably intimate. In this way, One Night feels authentic. Ask any of your friends. I’m sure most of them would say that the love scenes depicted in most films is so unreal, so different from what they’ve experienced.
Here, we see how the power of a stranger’s touch can reduce one to tears. We see how the shedding of layers – literally and figuratively – creates a palpable vulnerability. No matter how much the women try to force their desire, they can’t make it happen. As the sun rises the following morning, and the women are bathed in light, they begin anew. Able to see one another – really see one another – the desire, and what happens as a result, comes naturally.
Writer/director Joséphine Adams goes lean on the dialog, only giving her audience enough to introduce the characters. We barely know anything about them and in this manner, we get to share their sense of newness and excitement. We know that one is a bit of a slob and the other sneaks chewing tobacco. We know that they’re into each other. What else is there?
Lots, of course, but that’s another story…
In this regard, the short film format works well for the subject matter and vice versa. It gives us just enough to be intrigued and leaves us, too soon, wondering what will become of the characters, of their story. Not your typical one night stand film, One Night is an achingly realistic peek into the microcosm that is love.
Click to watch One Night
On IMDb: One Night