In a double bill of films commissioned by L’Avenue Shanghai, director Nathalie Canguilhem circumnavigates Paris and the Chinese metropolitan hub for the kinetically charged romance, Désir. Model and actress Amber Anderson is cast alongside Beijing-born catwalk regular Hao Yun Xiang, and their dizzying tale of parallel lives is given the graphic treatment by Canguilhem, a fashion filmmaker, art director and stylist with commissions from Vogue, as well as a forthcoming project with Charlotte Gainsbourg and Anthony Vaccarello. “I had just seen Her by Spike Jonze and I liked the idea of a love story that was very moody and atmospheric. It’s more of a fantasy than something real,” says the image- maker, who juxtaposed architectural landmarks including Shanghai’s Bund Bridge and French Concession with Paris’ Grand Palais and Beaugrenelle. The collision of sensibilities falls in line with L’Avenue Shanghai’s impressive brand portfolio—bringing the French capital to Asia, with Canguilhem styling the protagonists in pieces from Dior, Louis Vuitton and Prada. “I wanted to blend functionality with geometric patterns for an urban effect.”
What’s the most memorable thing someone has ever done for you in the name of romance?
Amber Anderson: My laundry!
What are some of the best spots you've discovered in Paris?
AA: Hotel Amour is a great place to stay and the restaurant downstairs has unforgettable macaroni cheese...
What essentials do you pack in your bag each before heading off on a long-haul flight?
AA: A Sisley facemask and my favorite Zoe Karssen cashmere leggings—an indulgence but great for getting cozy.
What do you consider to be the perfect trait in a man?
AA: His sense of humor.
What is your ultimate day off in Shanghai?
AA: Wandering round the old town and taking a trip up the Oriental Pearl.
On a scale of one to 10, how romantic are you?
AA: I'm pretty cringe when I want to be! I'd say around an 8 and a half...
Three things you can't resist:
AA: A bubble bath, good wine and pasta.
L'Avenue Shanghai's double bill concludes next Wednesday with Rencontre.