Short Film Profile

The Martini Effect

On this final afternoon of living the high life, a Man and a Woman struggle silently to clear the air in a house that’s completely underwater.

Film notes

“The Martini Effect” is a fly-on-the-wall’s view of a couple that has lived without limits. After years of extravagance and bad habits, they lose their house. On this final afternoon enjoying their backyard pool before the bank takes possession of their place, they silently struggle with what the future holds for their marriage…Are they enough for each other when all the trappings of the high life are stripped away?
While writing the piece, I saw the Barbados diving footage of my co-star, Emanuele Secci. I was struck by all the symmetry, visual and linguistic, of having such dependence on a tank of air while swimming with a sea turtle; of gleefully exploring a shipwreck juxtaposed with losing one’s house above ground, as in being “underwater” on one's mortgage.

It also struck me how silent it is underwater, except for the sounds of our struggle for life-sustaining breath. It is also very difficult to communicate with other humans while in the ocean’s depths. These observations influenced my decision to have no dialogue between the couple. Their inability to communicate, except through escapism and base pursuits of pleasure, is what has probably “sunk” them.

My office window looks out on a residential sidewalk with a lot of foot traffic. As I worked on drafts of the piece, I kept noticing how many people walk around oblivious to everything from urban sounds to nature’s bird song because they have iPod or iPhone buds in their ears. I decided to layer that behavior onto the couple as well. Not only are they not speaking, they aren’t listening…except to an interior monologue which is presented not as a truly honest self-analysis, but as escapist entertainment in the form of random outtakes from an audio book called…”The Martini Effect”.
mortgage housing pleasure scuba hedonism escape marriage responsibility economy relationship




Copyright © 2013 Ron De Cana Productions, Inc.

Previous screenings

17 Oct – 20 Oct | Atlanta, United States
Underwater Film Festival Beograd | 2013
1 Dec – 7 Dec | Belgrade, Serbia
14 Feb – 15 Feb | Grand Junction, United States
27 Mar – 30 Mar | Cluj-Napoca, Romania
23 Jun – 28 Jun | Sassari, Italy
10 Jul – 28 Sep | Mumbai, India
12 Jul – 18 Jul | Kigali, Rwanda
26 Jul – 31 Jul | Ferizaj, Kosovo
4 Aug – 9 Aug | Santander, Colombia
10 Aug | Davis, United States
28 Aug – 14 Sep | London, United Kingdom
El Samán Festicine Video Imagen | 2014
4 Sep – 7 Sep | Viterbo de Caldas, Colombia
Johnstown Film Festival | 2014
6 Sep | Johnstown, United States
20 Oct – 26 Oct | Thessaloniki, Greece
FeSanCor: Chilean International Short Film Festival
20 Oct – 27 Oct | Santiago, Chile
Cairo Video Festival | 2014
5 Nov – 19 Nov | Cairo, Egypt
6 Nov – 9 Nov | Fredericton, Canada
Fenaco: International Short Film Festival
12 Nov – 15 Nov | Cusco, Peru
Siliguri International Film Festival | 2014
15 Nov – 17 Nov | Siliguri, India
5th Overlook: Cinemavvenire Film Festival | 2014
12 Dec – 21 Dec | Rome, Italy
13 Dec – 21 Dec | Athens, Greece
24 Oct – 31 Oct | Toscana, Italy

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 26 Aug 2013