A young couple – cuddling, kissing, giggling and wrestling – is immersed in the unmistakable bliss of early relationship love. When they awake in bed the next day, they find they have quite literally become entangled, with one lover’s arm connecting seamlessly to the other’s. This is the simple premise, and not-so-subtle metaphor, at the centre of the US director Ben Brewer’s short A Folded Ocean. The proceedings soon grow even more surreal as the pair’s entire bodies begin to merge even more fully – scenes achieved via some impressive, if rather unnerving, special effects. Weaving elements of romantic comedy, relationship drama and body horror, Brewer, who lead the visual effects team on the similarly eclectic Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022), walks this genre tightrope with skill and care. Not content to rest on the strengths of his clever premise and unforgettable imagery, Brewer – alongside acting leads Anabelle LeMieux and John Giacobbe – evokes the complexities of navigating through a romantic relationship with humour and heart.
Director: Ben Brewer
Producer: Emily Murnane