For Your Consideration: “Pink Grapefruit”

From The New Yorker:

MaxresdefaultThe first installment in our For Your Consideration series is “Pink Grapefruit,” a ten-minute short by the writer-director Michael Mohan. The film—which premièred at Sundance, in January, and went on to win a jury award at South by Southwest—takes place in a serene vacation home in the Palm Springs desert. A young woman (Wendy McColm) arrives there with her friends, a slightly older married couple (Nora Kirkpatrick and Matt Peters), and we quickly learn that they are subjecting her to a rather intense version of a blind date: a single man she’s never met (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) will soon be joining them for the weekend. Like any jaded millennial, the woman greets the impending setup with a sense of dread: “These things never work out!” she says on the car ride out. But, when her suitor arrives, things don’t go quite as expected. (And without spoiling anything, we hope, we should note that this film contains sexual situations.)

…But the story in “Pink Grapefruit,” of a young couple’s first encounter, turns out to be, as Mohan has put it, a cinematic Trojan horse. Shot in lush colors, with lingering images of the arid California hills, the film also makes use of an eerie desert silence, and the voyeurism of the glass-walled vacation home suggests that something pernicious is afoot between the two couples. What Mohan was really interested in exploring, he said, is how young adults “measure our happiness and success by comparing it to those around us.” Mohan, who also directs music videos and commercials (like a pair of very fun short films for Kate Spade, starring Anna Kendrick and Lily Tomlin), is currently beginning work on a new film project called “The Ends.” Co-written with Chris Levitus, who also co-wrote “Pink Grapefruit,” the film portrays the life of a young woman by examining her past breakups. Mohan said, “We want to show how our past relationships shape the person we ultimately become.”

More here.