FIRE AND ICE
INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT
HEAVY BREATHING and KISSING sounds. Soft, sexy, low-tone MOANS belonging to a man and a woman.
FADE IN ON:
INT. LOFT/STUDIO APARTMENT (LIVING ROOM AREA) - NIGHT
Wooden floor. Warm lighting. A woman's bare leg, digging into the side of the couch, then a man's, still clothed in jeans, a dirty sock still on his foot.
A packet of MARLBORO REDS falls from the couch onto the floor next to a pair of LACE UNDERWEAR as the man and the woman both take that last held breath before orgasm.
Then, the sounds of sweet release sail through the silence, and breathless sighs of that euphoric state that follows.
Slowly, they shift into upright positions on the couch, the woman's other leg swinging over so that both her feet are on the floor, as are the man's.
She exhales deeply before her hand reaches down for her underwear, and she slips one foot, then the other through it. Meanwhile, the sound of the man's belt CLINKS against itself as he pulls his pants back up.
Her hand plunges down again, this time for the cigarettes. She takes one cigarette out of the packet and brings it up to her lips. Flash, and a flame appears as she lights it:
Some say the world will end in fire.
An adaptation of Robert Frost's poem, "Fire and Ice", explores how opposing "hot" human emotions such as desire and passion (thinking with the heart), and "cold" human emotions such as hate and rationality (thinking with the head), lead to our demise - in this context, it is how it destroys the world of the main character, Violet, who finds herself trapped between a heated affair and her frigid marriage.
Shot on 35mm at 48fps, the lethargic rhythm of the film reflects Violet's heavy heart as she must return to her lifeless marriage from the moment of passion she shares with her lover on the couch. The use of space and lighting separate the two worlds, and her crossing of one into the other, transitioning from "fire" to "ice" from the red couch dimly lit with a soft, warm light, to the mirror on the other side of the room, where her wedding ring and a glass of whisky await, bathed in cold moonlight.
The contrast between the soft textures of the first half of the film and the dry, icy text messages she receives from her husband that appear on screen in digital format against the 35mm film as she crosses the space changes the tone from something surreal, magical and dreamy to a hard reality, not only through the device of the text messages but also through the silver surfaces and glass textures as part of the set design.
As Violet places her ring on her finger with much hesitation and takes one last look in the mirror, it is as if it were the end of the world for her, and in a way, it is: no matter what she does (cheating vs. staying in a dead, unhappy marriage), she doesn't exactly "win". The glowing red light fades into white smoke as she puts out her cigarette in a metal ashtray, a metaphor that symbolizes her form of suicide.
Starring Amy Rutledge and Josh Quat. Written and directed by Panita Chanrasmi-Lefebvre, in a co-production with cinematographer Kioomars Doroodi. Set design by Danilo Medrado.