But there's one name you'd probably never expect to be linked to an ad -- a fashion short no less! -- Harmony Korine. The man who mused up Kids and then wrote and directed the likes of Gummo, Julien Donkey Boy, and Mister Lonely has crafted a short film for the fashion company Proenza Schouler called Act Da Fool.
Usually advertising-centric creations by notable directions all turn out similarly. The wow factor is amped up to the extreme to show a deluge of fanciness. We might be able to spot the filmmaker's distinctive techniques, they're muted by the pomp and circumstance of the affair, putting too much importance and focus on an object we'll probably never buy. Good for the object in question, for sure, but not so much for the creative experience.
Korine cuts through that with his short. I'm not sure what I was expecting. Korine obviously wouldn't film sleek clothes strutting down New York streets with perfectly coiffed hair, intrigue, and high-definition. What he's whipped up is the narrative thoughts of one African American girl living the disillusioned life with her four friends. She likens the world to "a ball of sh*t," and says: "That's why the dinosaurs died out." Classic Korine, he also manages to make her thoughts work for the clothes, as these real, well-dressed girls beat tires, spray graffitti, and pose for pictures.
That's really the gem of this. Through Korine's eye and casting, these aren't fashion models full of themselves, and it adds an excellent air of realism and gritty beauty to the proceedings. Hit the Proenza Schouler website for the ad, where you can also find interviews with the men of Proenza Schouler and Korine himself. Beware: The film contains strong language.