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Author: Joe Smith
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  • 5 minutes

OU/BBC Creative Climate short film competition 2011: Hot and bothered

Updated Monday, 7th November 2011
Dr Joe Smith introduces this short, 'steamy' video by Gia laSalvia, a student film-maker from the London Film School. Gia explores what climate change might do for a couple's love life.

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Lack of love in a hot climate

After watching the video, and reading Dr Joe Smith's introduction, let us know what you think about the issues raised by this short comedy. Add your comments at the end of the article.


OU/BBC Creative Climate Short Film Competition 2011:

Hot and Bothered

By Gia laSalvia


TV Announcer:

….back in full swing as today was yet another record-breaking scorcher. Be advised to wear plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated.  We’ll have more on the heatwaves after this.

TV Advert male Voiceover:

Touch is the most complex human interaction, it’s the way we express our love. Our changing climate has stifled this pleasure.

TV Advert female Voiceover:

Introducing ‘Affection-Mate’, the new air-conditioned underwear designed to be outerwear. Whether indoors or outdoors now you can feel confident showing a little skin.  Affection-Mate is made to withstand any climate even when things get intimate.  Simple detach the front flap to your Affection-Mate and make the most out of your intimate experience.

TV Advert male Voiceover:

Affection-Mate.  Lose the heat (sound of woman aroused), not the touch.

(piano music)

TV Advert female Voiceover:

From the makers of Affection-Mate comes the next sensation taking Britain by storm.  Introducing Pleasure-a-Bra, the new air-conditioned bra for women.  Pleasure-a-Bra allows you to stay cool while remaining fashionable.  Pleasure-a-Bra.  Lose the heat, not the style.


It’s time to talk about climate change…
before things get any stickier

(Closing credits over piano music)

The Open University
Free open learning openedu/youtube

Hot and bothered

Gia laSalvia, the London Film School

What will climate change do for your love life?

Rising temperatures in the bedroom, but not in a good way, is the premise behind this romantic comedy. The tender and generous film asks people to act today before the situation gets any stickier. Film maker Gia laSalvia explains:

'Hot and bothered' is a short comedy about a husband who loves his wife. But in this not-so-distant boiling hot future, he can’t bring himself to express his affection for her. Thankfully, the right product has come along to solve their bedroom woes. But is another energy-consuming device really the answer?
This project was envisioned as a light, satirical approach to the dire possibilities of climate change. The film says that while the repercussions of a changing climate may indeed be cataclysmic, perhaps we can understand the perils if we think of how they can affect us on a day-to-day basis, intimately.

It doesn't seem too far-fetched to imagine a future where the general public is so plagued by heat waves that it becomes socially acceptable to wear less and less clothing. Personally speaking, I don't want to live in a society where the general public bares all. I doubt that most of us would like to hop on the bus and sit next to a random naked man. 'Hot and bothered' is looking to poke fun at such a future, while making a comment on some of the more ridiculous potential corporate responses.

I'm writing this on a record-breaking October day in England, sitting in shorts and t-shirt with the outside temperature hitting 27 degrees. Generally it is distracting and largely wrong to try to associate particular weather events with long term climate change trends. But without climate mitigation strategies (cutting right down on our emissions of greenhouse gases) we can confidently expect rising average temperatures globally. Gia takes viewers to a near term future where people are adapting to these by stripping off. The British adaptation strategy is to strip down to string vests, fan hot ruddy faces, buy plenty of ice cream cones and purchase very personal cooling devices.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has sketched a number of scenarios, and most media depictions of the upper end of their range are of frightening dystopias. Plenty of climate communications have sought to coax people into support for action or behaviour change through these scare tactics. But these approaches may be wrong in two senses. In temperate and relatively wealthy Britain we are almost certainly not going to experience the worst effects of climate change. Furthermore there is plenty of evidence that anyone that was going to be motivated by fear-based messages has been mobilised already, and everyone else has switched off.

hot and bothered

This film handles the issue very differently. It is set in an uncomfortable world where simple everyday pleasures are radically diminished. This stymied romance shows how climate change could take some of the fun out of life, but if we get on to talking about it now there is a good chance we can avoid the worst. Nobody knows how the climate system and human social systems are going to interact over the next century, and the IPCC are offering no more than humanity's best-informed guesses at how things will turn out.

What is certain is that this entertaining cautionary tale is more likely than much of the scary CGI footage of floods and drought to get people thinking afresh about the seriousness of climate change, and the value of doing all we can to mitigate it.


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