Set over the course of a year in Kilkenny, Hot Water Bottle tells the story of Frank and Alice, a couple who broke up but struggle to stay broken up. As each season progresses, they find themselves drawn back into the same old routine of drunken nights and walks of shame.
Written and directed by John Morton, the film stars Suzanne O’Brien, David Thompson, Simone Kelly and Peter McGann. Hot Water Bottle was produced by Alan Slattery and Paddy Dunne of Mycrofilms with the support of the Kilkenny Arts Office.
Speaking to Film Ireland, writer/director John Morton explained how the film came about. “The idea was to do a fairly simple observational comedy that looked at a break-up over a year, but only focusing on the times where the couple relapsed and slept together.
“Normally, break-ups on films are full of fireworks and drama so I decided to run in the opposite direction from that. A lot of ideas for the scenes were to give a sense of something realistic, messy and really quite awkward. The characters don’t really know what they want so there’s no real major objectives at play, they just meander through a messy situation, which is a little bit more true to life.
“It’s split into four seasons because we wanted to show the progression of the break-up over a year and I thought the changing seasons would create a certain visual identity for a short that is essentially four really uncertain conversations. Although seasons in Ireland don’t really look how we expect them to anymore so we had to be quick to shoot it. There was a lot of ‘Hey, it looks really wintery, grab the gear’ going on. The film is essentially about time moving on, even if people don’t.”