A Morning-After Mishap

John Strong’s dialogue-free short film Guilty follows a man who wakes up to an embarrassing accident:

[Strong’s] playful narrative revolving around one man’s distraught attempts to hide a bedwetting incident feels like the perfect example of a storyteller playing with the flexible boundaries the medium allows. In an on-screen world, where apocalyptic events, super-heroes and monsters rule, a man trying to clear up urine doesn’t exactly rank highly in terms of drama and it’s to the director’s credit that he really ramps up the theatrics in his film. Treating his protagonists attempts to clean soaked sheets like a stealthy ninja attack, Guilty is riddled with moments where as a viewer you feel so close to, and engaged with, the on-screen actions you don’t dare breathe too loud (or inhale too deeply). As the film’s simple concept unwinds and you’re dragged deeper into the “cover-up”, a buzzing phone and a stirring sleeper suddenly feels as dramatic as any apocalyptic event ever has. It might not be the end of world as such, but it feels like it could be the end of this one man’s world.