If there is one fundamental element of existence, which has yet to be accurately portrayed on film, it must surely be having a bath. Movies have successfully imagined distant alien landscapes; have convincingly recreated stage sets of ancient historic cities; but I have yet to see a believable bath scene conveyed on film.
Movie baths are frothy affairs; the tub overflowing with a deep, unbroken layer of bubbles; the water practically on a level with the bathtub rim. They are steamy, and exotic, and alluring. How many people really have a bath like that? My experience of a bath is isolated islands of exposed flesh rising above an increasingly milky sea of soap suds.
There is a question of logistics, too: a full bath takes a long time to fill. A long time. Another factor is the size of the average domestic hot water heater. My hot water heater does not hold enough hot water to completely fill a bath; the water is running cold in the taps long before the bath is half full.
Statistics, which are regularly published regarding the eco-merits of baths versus showers, usually state that the average bath uses 80 litres of water. I can’t mentally equate this figure in terms of depth of water. Do 80 litres equate to a movie bath, or to a real bath?
My own bath water rarely attains a depth of five inches and this is measured with me in the bath and so––as Archimedes proved when in similar circumstances––that means there has been a me-sized amount of water already displaced. Just think, if Archimedes had taken movie baths he would never have solved the problem of being able to measure the volume of irregular objects, because most of the water would have ended up on the floor.
© The Mudskipper