CATEGORIES Fandom, Cinematical

In searching the Cinematical archives to see whether or not this commercial that, quite brilliantly, imagines what James Dean's life would have been like had he not died in a car crash in 1955, I came across this post from Cine writer Martha Fischer honoring the legendary actor on the 50th anniversary of his death. I find Martha's words of remembrance to be a bittersweet frame upon which to hang the advertisement embedded below.

"...the world Dean lived in has so little connection to ours (he never heard The Beatles; didn't live through the political chaos of the 60s) that he seems almost alien sometimes. He's so distant that he's become a symbol to us now: the kid with the cigarette dangling from his lips, tough facade laid over painful insecurity. He's so fragile that we want to protect him, but there's toughness there, too, a toughness that makes him willing to appear weak in front of the whole world."

This minute-long ad created by the King James ad agency for a South African long-term investment firm is, frankly, stunning, and that's a reaction coming from someone who has long been indifferent to the career and posthumous iconography of James Dean. But it doesn't take a diehard Dean fan to appreciate this meticulously crafted hypothetical that hearkens back to an increasingly forgotten era while creating one that never existed. It's equal parts heart-warming and heart-wrenching, which only makes me wish all advertisements were this compelling.

Via BoingBoing.