João Paulo Simões’s anthology “The Morning Interim” is a series of experimental short films exploring ‘the darker side’ using a combination of abstract motifs and atmosphere. The first in this series, “The Safe House” pertains to a woman (Helena Salazar) discovering that her lover (João Paulo Simões) is not all that he seems, as she watches in dismay video recordings portraying another woman (Luisa Torregrosa) willingly held captive under his ‘spell’.
The film borrows themes and characters from Simões’s feature length prequel made over a decade ago (Antlers of Reason). When asked about the context for his anthology, the director, who firmly believes in a film’s ability to delve deeper than a supposed plot, reluctantly discloses the backdrop, “There’s a pagan secret society masquerading as a philanthropic organisation. They have a benevolent track record in helping individuals living in the margins of society, but are in fact harvesting amongst those that no one will miss. They seek the perfect vessel for their antlered god Thalus and seem to have found it in my character.”
The minimalist film however doesn’t shy away from using explicit imagery to drive its narrative, and the genre can best be described as an “erotic mystery”. For those who’d like to stream the full episode and its prequel, you can follow the below link.
The Nudity: Luisa Torregrosa, João Paulo Simões, and Helena Salazar