I’m not sure whether it’s the heavy handed, dissonant heart-beating soundtrack or the noirish, half-shadow lighting that irked me more at the opening of Catrin Hedström’s film. While the sensual overload of sound and image can be easily perceived as a tragic moment in the life of Kim (Alexander Leonn, the short’s executive producer), a person apparently in the middle of a transgender change, the big decision to be made in this instance is merely bathroom stall, or urinal. Pink or baby blue. Seemingly no big deal for most of us, except that Hedström, who also wrote (and edited) the piece with very little dialogue, elevates her character to the point of fatalistic doom and despair.
And while Kim has the long brunette hairdo, blue fingernails, red lipstick, and high heels on, there’s still a day’s worth of stubble, as well as all the male plumbing intact. She’s in the dark, literally, as shadowy figures (well, a guy in a cowboy hat) whoosh by. Yeah, I get that it’s a fantasy, especially when you get a gander at the guys taking a leak inside the noisy men’s room. Tattooed gangsta, cigar-stomping executive, and football jock (with his helmet on).
Inside the lace-adorned women’s room is a rose-bedecked wash counter and a tearful young woman, Sam (Emilie Berman), looking for comfort. It’s dark red in here, with some giggling gals (soundtrack: cackling crows) taking selfies in one of the stalls.
I don’t get all the symbolism (i.e., a woman dribbling milk out the side of her mouth), but if there’s a statement in here, I assume it is: You’ll get through it, girl.