Could This Be the Most Stylish Short Film Ever Made?

Kate McGregor
·2-min read
Photo credit: Iglesias Mas - Sony Pictures
Photo credit: Iglesias Mas - Sony Pictures

From ELLE Decor

In Pedro Almodóvar’s stylish new short film The Human Voice, a jilted lover, portrayed by Tilda Swinton, finds herself crushed by the desperation that so often accompanies a relationship falling to pieces.

Donning a dramatic floor-length silk bathrobe, and a pair of AirPods (a clever nod to the Jean Cocteau play on which the film is loosely based), Swinton’s character pleads with her ex on a final, doomed phone call, vacillating between delusion, despair, and mania.

Swinton’s chief tormentor is arguably her plush surroundings, a picture-perfect, mid-century modern apartment that she struggles to escape, even though freedom is (quite literally) within view. We, however, can’t get enough of the setting, from its jewel-like color palette to its cool-and-collected assemblage of vintage furnishings. Below, we break down some of our favorite looks.

The Living Room

Photo credit: Iglesias Mas
Photo credit: Iglesias Mas

In the film, Swinton paces the floor of her perfectly-appointed house (frequent Almodóvar collaborator Antxón Gómez led the production design), waiting for her lover to return. The living room’s star power comes from allowing the artwork—a recreation of Giorgio de Chirico’s Ettore e Andrómaca—to dictate the rest of the space’s color palette, from the rug to the turquoise sconces. The fabrics also pull their colors from the print, and the scale of the Dedar curtains adds drama without stealing the show.

The Sitting Room

Photo credit: Iglesias Mas - Sony Pictures
Photo credit: Iglesias Mas - Sony Pictures

Cheetah print has long been considered a neutral in fashion (another delicious design element in this short), but the set decoration of The Human Voice makes a case for it in the home as well. With the iconic Charlotte Perriand shelving unit and a selection of Ettore Sottsass vases, this room is the best Italian design has to offer.

The Entryway

Photo credit: Iglesias Mas - Sony Pictures
Photo credit: Iglesias Mas - Sony Pictures

The apartment opens with a ridged console and vintage pinup art, a nod to Swinton’s strong-willed (if impetuous) character. Mixing vintage and modern pieces of various genres and periods makes one thing very clear: These are not design choices made by someone to mess with.

The Bedroom

Photo credit: Inglesias Mas
Photo credit: Inglesias Mas

Talk about interior monologue: The decor here seems to emulate the roller coaster of emotions on display throughout the film. The built-in nightstands lack any personal mementos such as photos or books; the focal artwork—Artemisia Gentileschi’s Venus and Cupid (Sleeping Venus) mirrors Swinton’s malaise. And the suitcases and the unworn suit all feed into the theme of solitude and abandonment (though, spoiler alert, one element delightfully falls victim to an axe).

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