Radiant model Amber Anderson and menswear face Hao Yun Xiang plunge into the bright lights and dark corners of L’Avenue Shanghai in Rencontre, the second short directed by Nathalie Canguilhem. Inspired by the luxury mall’s illuminated exterior and architecture centered around its hemispherical dome, the film is set to a hypnotic score by emerging French artist Liza Manili and maverick producer 1963. “I wanted to create a sense of commotion,” says Canguilhem, who spliced together voyeuristic footage taken from L’Avenue Shanghai’s CCTV cameras, which shows the loved-up protagonists getting lost in the mall’s French-style gardens in looks from Dries Van Noten, Marc Jacobs and Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane. “The shape of the building is naturally cinematic,” says the director of the cinematography, which referenced Chris Marker’s La Jetée and the contrasting hues of Blade Runner. “The nighttime Shanghai light is really vivid. It’s not silver, it’s white, and the reflection travels.”
Watch part one of our L’Avenue Shanghai double bill: Desir.