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September 2 2014

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8 posts tagged "Martin Scorsese"

Diane Pernet Loves Film, Fashion, and Zoolander

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diane-pernetFashion film is a curious genre. Oftentimes, the Style.com team is confronted with the typical pitch: a short little flick featuring haunting indie music, a pensive-looking model, a vintage bohemian ambiance, and, of course, a new collection. Sure, there are great ones (as evidenced by our Video Fashion Week series, which wrapped today), but more often than not, they’re cheesy and lacking in both plot and substance. However, according to former designer, renowned journalist, and A Shaded View on Fashion Film Festival founder Diane Pernet, this breed of cinematography is not fashion film at all. “Just because you’ve used a movie camera doesn’t mean you’ve made a film,” Pernet told Style.com. And she would know. Having launched her famed Paris-based festival in 2008 (it gets its name from her blog, A Shaded View on Fashion), Pernet now sorts through more than five hundred cinematic submissions each year before curating the lineup of films to be shown (and judged) during her grand event. As you can imagine, she’s seen the bad, the terrible, but also the spectacular.

Last weekend, thanks to a little help from the French Institute Alliance Française and Kering, Pernet brought New York its first taste of ASVOFF. She screened the festival’s greatest hits by the likes of Bruce Weber, Ellen von Unwerth, and Mike Figgis with the hopes of inspiring and enlightening her stateside fans. There was no competition element this time around, but Pernet, who’s as well known for her marvelously outré noir uniform as for her widespread work in sartorial cinema, hinted that she hopes to bring the full-fledged festival to the Big Apple next year. Also on her docket? The launch of a trio of perfumes, which debut on Style.com’s Beauty Counter this afternoon. Here, Pernet talks to Style.com about the role of fashion film, her frustration with runway shows, and why fashion flicks are so rarely taken seriously.

Oftentimes, fashion film is not taken seriously. Why do you think that is?

I think the reason it’s not taken seriously is that a lot of fashion photographers making films aren’t filmmakers. It’s their agents who are telling them, “You’d better get a video camera and you’d better make a film because that’s where it’s at.” And a film director has to think of so many different elements that you don’t think about in a frozen image. So a big problem is that some fashion photographers have a hard time making the segue. Of course, there are people who have made a nice entry, like Bruce Weber or Ellen von Unwerth who have been doing it for over a decade, or newer people like Steven Meisel, Steven Klein, and Inez & Vinoodh. But a lot of photographers are just making fashion photo shoots that move. That’s not a film. It’s a fashion shoot in motion and that’s not interesting. Not interesting to me, anyway.

A lot of fashion films that we see are almost a parody of themselves, with the indie music, the “deep in thought” models, the vintage vibe…With that in mind, what does it take to make a compelling fashion film?

I always use this as an example because it’s something everybody knows: A Therapy, Roman Polanski’s 2012 film for Prada. That’s an excellent fashion film. I personally like a narrative. I think you need a narrative if you’re going to hold somebody’s interest for three minutes. CO’s She Said, She Said [2013] by Stuart Blumberg, which won best acting in my festival, is a great example. It had a wonderful story. After my festival at Centre Pompidou, I got an e-mail from a digital person at LVMH that said, “Now that is a great way to show fashion.” Fashion film is not about just selling the product—it’s about creating an atmosphere. It’s a story. A great fashion film needs the same criteria as a feature film. Does it take you somewhere? Does it have some kind of emotion? And humor is always great. People in fashion need humor.

Does it upset you that so many brands are dubbing these moving photo shoots “fashion films”?

I get about five hundred submissions [for my festival] every year, and an awful lot are in that category. I think people still don’t have a grip on what a fashion film is—they still believe that if someone’s moving in front of the camera, it’s a film. So that’s a little depressing, but it’s getting better. People are starting to realize that it’s not about, like, here’s the shoe, here’s the dress, here’s this. It’s not an animated lookbook, for God’s sake. It’s a film.

Do you think that fashion film can stand on its own as an art form, or will its primary purpose always be to showcase a product?

I think it can stand on its own. There are a lot of fashion films that are made by actual filmmakers that are not just about a product, even when it is for a product. We have to move away from [product-centric fashion films] because they’re not very interesting. You want something that’s going to make you think. It’s just not about being pretty—it’s got to be more than that.

You were really the first major champion of fashion film. How did you come to be so passionate about it?

Well, my background is in film. That’s what I have my degree in, and I’ve always loved film and I’ve always loved fashion. I think from the first Walt Disney movie I saw in a drive-in, the fantasy of films just captured me. And as far as clothing, I was a designer for thirteen years. I think the real seed of it, though, was planted when I moved to Paris at the end of 1990. My first job was working on a feature film as a costume designer, and I realized how directors are really afraid of fashion. Of course, some directors, like David Lynch and Peter Greenaway, got it. But most are afraid that the fashions are going to take too much importance. But really, fashion is supporting the character, and it can be very subtle. Most directors just don’t understand fashion or they don’t give it the credit that it really warrants. That really made me think about the relationship between fashion and film.

Do you think the fact that directors like Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson, who have made films for Dolce & Gabbana and Prada, respectively, have elevated the practice to higher regard?

Absolutely. That’s why we like to always have one of our films presented at Cannes because we want more directors like that to be involved. I just met Alejandro Jodorowsky’s son, Adan Jodorowsky, who made this incredible film, The Voice Thief [2013], with Asia Argento. We’re going to put it in the next edition of ASVOFF. I want to always raise the bar, and I want more real directors. I think that’s important.

Do you think that something originally pegged as a fashion film could evolve into something that ends up being a mainstream feature?

Yeah, I hope so. I’d love that. And why not? Take Wes Anderson. I haven’t seen The Grand Budapest Hotel yet. But I think there are directors whose features you can call fashion films. We had William Klein two years ago as a special guest, and that film, Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? [1996], was a fashion film. Or what about Zoolander [2001]? I love Zoolander. That’s a fashion film. I thought it was really interesting. And I love some documentaries, like the one on Diana Vreeland, The Eye Has to Travel [2011]. I loved that film. I thought it was really inspiring.

How do fashion films make us look at garments differently than a fashion photograph or a runway show does?

Fashion films are a dream. They’re all about desire. You’re seeing the garment in 3-D. I love a frozen image, too, so I’m not against print. I think there’s a value to that, and they can be something really beautiful. Fashion films are just another way to show fashion—not the only way. I’m not saying that fashion films are going to take over runway shows, because they’ve always been the most efficient way to show fashion, even though now, I think, for the most part they look pretty last century. I don’t think that will change right away.

Do you think it should change? Should we move away from runway shows?

I’d be happier to see more films and installations. I think so many fashion shows shouldn’t even happen. You spend so much time going from one end [of a city] to the other just to see things walking up and down the runway. If you’re going to take us somewhere, like Alexander McQueen used to or like [John] Galliano did in his day, or sometimes other designers like Rick Owens or Haider Ackermann do, there’s something special and emotional about a show. There’s a mood. But I don’t see that a lot anymore. I’ve talked to Rick Owens about this, and he likes the “tribe” experience of a show, but if you ask me, the main point of a lot of these fashion shows now is just to see who’s sitting in what row. I mean, who cares? I think they’re not necessary.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Georgina Chapman Gets Behind the Camera

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Georgina ChapmanMarchesa’s Georgina Chapman is the latest designer to get behind a movie camera—in her case, with a bit of mentoring from Hollywood veteran Ron Howard. She premiered the resulting sixteen-minute film, A Dream of Flying, last night at the Crosby Street Hotel.

Chapman’s directorial debut is part of Project Imagination, a new initiative from Canon (with help from Howard) that aims to make filmmakers out of everyone. For the moment, the camera company has outsourced the task to five celebrities—Jamie Foxx, Eva Longoria, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, and Twitter’s Biz Stone in addition to Chapman—in order to get the ball rolling. The whole batch will have a glitzy premiere next week, with the films going live on the Internet next Friday.

Chapman’s little advance-sneak drew the likes of Rachel Roy and Chapman’s husband, Harvey Weinstein, who offered her tips of his own throughout the process. Her film is a fantastical parable about a little girl (played at one point by Dree Hemingway) who spends an entire lifetime resisting a suitor desperate to have her take to the skies with him.

She used her favorite costume designers as reference points, Chapman said—among them Martin Scorsese go-to Sandy Powell and Milena Canonera, whose credits range all the way from A Clockwork Orange (1971) to Wes Anderson’s upcoming film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Of course, for this job, the designer couldn’t focus on the clothes alone. “There are so many components you have to think about,” Chapman remarked. “Not only are you doing the visual, but you also have to do the emotional, and have a business mind, and put together all the other parts.” Might she take on the role again—for an upcoming Marchesa campaign, say? “I had a really amazing time with this,” Chapman said. “You know, we’ll see.”

Photo: Jemal Countess / Getty Images

To New York City, Love Acne Paper

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What does it take to be a New Yorker? According to Acne Paper editor in chief Thomas Persson, confidence, energy, vitality, and sometimes, audacity. London-based Norwegian though he is, Persson has spent a good deal of time thinking about New Yorkism of late: The magazine’s 14th issue, dedicated to New York, launches tonight with a party at New York’s legendary Four Seasons restaurant. (On its cover: echt New Yorkers like Fran Lebowitz, Richard Serra, and Mikhail Baryshnikov.) Considering Acne opened a new store in Soho this past June and its designer, Jonny Johansson, married his longtime girlfriend in NYC last weekend, it would seem an appropriate time for Persson to feature the Big Apple. And within the pages of Acne Paper‘s latest issue, he unearths striking images and surprising stories that would intrigue even the most jaded of New Yorkers. There are archive shots by Steven Meisel, a new shoot with Karlie Kloss, a look into apartments in neighborhoods throughout New York, and a series of portraits by Brigitte Lacombe featuring New Yorkers including Martin Scorsese (pictured, above), Jeff Koons (pictured, below), and Lena Dunham. But, adds Persson, “I would love for people to actually read the magazine. There are some really good stories in there. New Yorkers are great storytellers.” Here, he speaks with Style.com about his first time in New York, the difference between New Yorkers and Scandinavians, and the city’s suggestive skyline.

Why did you choose New York for your first city-centric issue?
I had been wanting to do an issue on New York for a long time. It’s a city that’s totally different from any other place in the world. And, it seemed like a good time because Jonny just got married here last weekend. He and his girlfriend met in New York 20 years ago and they had this lovely wedding, so it seemed like a good moment to do sort of a love letter to New York City.

What do you think makes New York so mesmerizing?
Because it attracts a certain kind of person. People who choose to live in New York City are often full of ambition and drive. They have an enthusiasm for what they’re doing and for life. So it has this electric intensity that you don’t find in Europe. You come to New York if you really want to accomplish something. There’s a very high level of energy. Also, because it’s so compressed. It’s this little island, it’s a small place and the whole world has gathered here. I think that is really unique.

How do you feel that your Scandinavian perspective frames your view of the city?
Well, I’m Norwegian and I feel very Norwegian when I’m in New York. I don’t know how to describe it. People here are extremely outgoing, which I like. In the northern countries we are much more introverted. Here in New York, we are overwhelmed by this outgoingness. It’s an extremely social place and people are very open. New Yorkers are very into introducing people to each other and that is very different than where I come from. In Scandinavia we have a general mentality where people are very in tune with the same things but there’s no real class system or anything like that. So that’s very different too. Here, you have an enormous difference in how people live. And their viewpoints and mentalities are so radically different.

What were your initial impressions of the city?
The first time here was in 1990. I was very, very young and it was me and my boyfriend. We just went out to the Sound Factory and Disco 2000 and it was quite funny. One of the first people I met in New York was Michael Alig, of all people. So my impression was it was just so much fun. The nightlife was very different back then and I thought it was super exciting with all the club kids and the music. All that blew me away.

Why did you choose the Four Seasons Restaurant as the location for the party?
It’s just such a beautiful, timeless, elegant, chic restaurant. For me, Manhattan is a man. It’s not a woman. It has these erections of skyscrapers. And this place is so masculine. It’s a bit corporate. And I think that’s very New York. I also think it’s one of the most stunning places in the world.

The issue ($15) is available at Acne Soho, 33 Greene Street, NYC.

Photos: Brigitte Lacombe © 2012

Gucci And Scorsese Take On Cannes, Gaga In Black, Louboutin’s Glass Slippers, And More…

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Gucci and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation are set to unveil a new version of Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America at the Cannes Film Festival next month, toasted with a dinner and party at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc thrown by Gucci creative director Frida Giannini, Vanity Fair editor in chief Graydon Carter, and PPR chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault. [WWD]

Lady Gaga has reportedly joined the cast of Men in Black 3, alongside Tim Burton and Justin Bieber. The film’s director, Barry Sonnenfeld, has “confirmed that she will appear on an alien surveillance board,” but it is not yet known whether she will act as herself or play a character—though the difference between those two, one imagines, would be slight. [Vogue U.K.]

In celebration of the re-release of the Disney classic Cinderella this fall, Christian Louboutin is designing his own version of a glass slipper, to debut this summer. “I have been so lucky to have crossed paths with Cinderella, an icon who is so emblematic to the shoe world as well as the dream world,” says Louboutin. [WWD]

Japanese artist and Marc Jacobs collaborator Takashi Murakami will open a new branch of his company, Kaikai Kiki, complete with a gallery in Germany tomorrow, coinciding with Berlin Gallery Weekend. The new outpost, named Hidari Zingaro Berlin, is Murakami’s first exhibition space outside of Japan. [Art Info]

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Oscar Nominations Announced

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At last, this year’s Academy Award nominations were announced, and there were certainly a few surprises. The Artist, as expected, is a top contender, but it’s Martin Scorsese’s Hugo that earned the most nods, with 11 nominations compared to the silent film’s ten. Rooney Mara made the Best Actress cut for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but big contenders like Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and Charlize Theron (Young Adult) did not. And although Ryan Gosling earned high praise for his work in Drive and The Ides of March, he was left off the Oscars list all together. To see the full list, visit Oscar.go.com.

BEST PICTURE
The Artist, Thomas Langmann, producer
The Descendants, Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, and Jim Taylor, producers
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Scott Rudin, producer
The Help, Brunson Green, Chris Columbus, and Michael Barnathan, producers
Hugo, Graham King and Martin Scorsese, producers
Midnight in Paris, Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, producers
Moneyball, Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz, and Brad Pitt, producers
The Tree of Life, Nominees to be determined
War Horse, Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, producers

LEAD ACTOR
Demián Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

LEAD ACTRESS
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

BEST DIRECTOR
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Bérénice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help
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