This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career.
This weekend saw the limited release of Afternoon Delight, for which filmmaker Jill Soloway won the Directing Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Of the feature, about a frustrated stay-at-home mom who takes in a young stripper/prostitute to be a live-in nanny, our own Kate Erbland wrote that lead actress “Kathryn Hahn is fantastic as ever” and that in spite of an uneven tone she “still frequently laughed and felt satisfied by its end.” Currently it’s only playing in New York and Los Angeles, but the film will go wider to most major cities on Friday (September 6th). Until then, you can get ready by watching Soloway’s first film, a short titled Una Hora Por Favora, which debuted at Sundance last year.
The 13-minute comedy stars Michaela Watkins, who is apparently Soloway’s best friend and muse (who also appears in Afternoon Delight and stars in Soloway’s earlier Funny or Die sketch Tight) and was made for her as a kind of showcase. They shot it in three months with financing coming personally from the writer-director, who’s been in the business for a while as a writer and producer for such TV series as Six Feet Under and United States of Tara. The plot involves a lonely woman who picks up a day worker outside a hardware store to do “una hora” of plumbing work in her bathroom, and a relationship ensues. Wilmer Valderrama plays the laborer turned lover. In addition to playing in Park City, Una Hora Por Favora was part of the Sundance Online Shorts competition on Yahoo!, but it lost to The Debutante Hunters.
Watch Soloway’s short start in full below.
Just based on her two main directorial efforts it appears Soloway is interested in the idea of lonely women picking up some sort of under-the-table-trade worker and bringing them home for what turns into a lasting relationship. There’s a slight connection to the theme in Tight, a two-minute sketch for Funny or Die that was written by Diablo Cody and is credited on IMDb as being Soloway’s actual first short start as a director (because it’s a fake commercial parodying the show Hung I see it as something sort of different than a legitimate short film). While in Afternoon Delight the sad female protagonist is married and in Una Hora Por Favora she’s single, here she’s a newly divorced woman (played by Watkins) who herself becomes a prostitute after learning she has an extremely tight vagina. Co-starring Nick Kroll, Michael Hitchcock and rapper Too $hort, the comedy video can be seen below.