“Actions speak louder than words.”
That’s a difficult motto to live by on a blog, but a crucial one in regards to short films given their limited run time. Considering the fact that you could fit the dialogue in Juanjo Giménez’s Timecode on a single sheet of paper only elevates its importance.
With a handful of award-winning short films [including Rodilla and Maximum Penalty]
already to his name the Spanish director’s latest features two security guards who work in an underground parking garage, one taking the day shift and the other the night. Playing Luna and Diego are Lali Ayguadé and Nicolas Ricchini, respectively, and although their shared acting experience is limited there’s no question of their being talented performers.
Both Ayguadé and Ricchini have impressive careers as dancers and choreographers, and their remarkable control over their bodies causes them to imbue every movement with purpose, whether it’s stiffly brushing past each other or jogging back up a hallway to clock-in to work. This even extends to the corner of a mouth being raised ever so slightly. This largely wordless short film might collapse in on itself with different talent, but the duo make it look effortless.The two are often viewed through the monitors displaying an array of security cameras, yet these glimpses never feel illicit or uncomfortable. Even scenes where Luna is shown changing out of her street clothes and into her uniform are shot without even the slightest hint of voyeurism. This isn’t to say that these glimpses are cold and sterile, but that they’re simply meant to depict real people.
While the strength of Ayguadé and Ricchini’s magnetic performance is aided by Giménez’s direction, as well as the cinematography of Pere Pueyo, a large part of its success should be credited elsewhere. Iván Céster’s original score is captivating, weaving in and out to leave some moments dead silent and lending others a reserved beauty. It doesn’t break ground as far as what’s expected from an independent short, but it’s done so masterfully it hardly matters.
Timecode is a short film that is content to let its action speak for itself, and when it does that action is measured and deliberate. A work that will have viewers moving from mild curiosity, to amusement, to even the briefest heartbreak, the fact that it clocks in at under 15 minutes [not including credits] means there’s no good reason not to watch it.
Timecode has won numerous awards, the most notable being the Palme d’Or for Best Short Film at the Cannes Film Festival. It has also been nominated for Best Short Film at the 2017 Goya Awards and Best Live Action Short at the 2017 Academy Awards later this month.
Be sure to return for an exclusive interview with director Juanjo Giménez about Timecode later this month!