Author Régis Jauffret’s Parisian Tale of Lust Gets a Sexy Cinematic Spin
“My favorite gemstone is ruby—the color of passion, eroticism, lips, blood and aristocracy,” says Paris-born actress Priscilla de Laforcade who plays a seductive thief with a passion for jewels in Presque des Amoureux, a contemporary noir short from rising filmmaker Julien Carlier and art director Joana Figueira, produced in collaboration with Effigies. Shot in mysterious black-and-white and clad in Margiela, Alaïa, and erotic jewellery by Betony Vernon, the femme fatale entraps the viewer with a beguiling monologue. “We wanted to push the fashion video genre into a more fictional style,” explain the collaborators, having previously worked on films for Karl Lagerfeld and Tsumori Chisato. “Working from a novel seemed obvious.” So the team turned to French fiction provocateur Régis Jauffret, adapting a short story from his 2007 collection, Microfictions, which was originally written with a male narrator in mind. “The text was very strong,” says Laforcade, whose impressive career has already included a role in Amour et Turbulences, campaigns for Hogan and Nina Ricci, and a record deal with Universal as part of the band Les Chanteuses. “I found it interesting to embody this character as a powerful and dominating woman.”
Photographer Spencer Lowell Boards agnès b.’s Innovative Seafaring Research Vessel
Windswept nautical views, choppy seas and cloud-mottled skies mingle elegantly with marine laboratory close-ups in this short documentary from the lauded Los Angeles director and Time magazine photographer Spencer Lowell. Captured over a five-day trip aboard “Tara”, the scientific vessel owned by agnès b. company director Étienne Bourgeois, Lowell’s images reflect the rhythm of the unknown waters while distilling the advanced work undertaken by the ship’s crew and researchers, often assisted by artists and journalists, towards understanding how what lies beneath impacts our lives above. “The most emotional moment was waking up on a Saturday morning and going onto the deck to be surrounded by 360 degrees of water,” the filmmaker recalls. “I had never been out where you couldn’t see land anywhere. It was completely surreal.” Having made expeditions across the seas of Greenland, Antarctica, Patagonia and South Georgia, “Tara”—formerly Sir Peter Blake’s “Seamaster”—reveals the surprising yet critical importance of plankton and other micro-aquatic organisms, which generate 50 percent of the oxygen in the atmosphere and consume 75 percent of the carbon dioxide. This is something the designer and culture doyenne agnès b. has paid a key interest in over the past decade. “She believes that the situation today will be the humanitarian crisis of tomorrow,” Secretary General and Operations Manager of the Tara Oceans project Romain Troublé says of her involvement. “There is scientific activity around plankton all over the world, but we also look at the environment and its neighbors—something that’s rarely, or never, been done on a global scale as we do with Tara.”
The Legendary Photographer Plunges Into the Dark Corners and Bright Lights of Hong Kong
Acclaimed Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama’s sensual approach to the urban landscape is revealed in this edifying short by the Hong Kong-based filmmaker Ringo Tang. Now in his 70s, Moriyama shot to fame when his grainy black-and-white images depicting a post-war Japan in flux won the country’s New Artist Award in 1967 and has since had major retrospectives at the New York Metropolitan Museum and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1999), the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography (2008) and, currently, at Tate Modern in tandem with William Klein. His high-contrast, distorted imagery and raw-verging-on-sordid content has influenced the work of countless photographers. Tang’s relationship to the master of harsh street photography is especially poetic: “The Moriyama black has always fascinated me,” the director writes in homage. “A thick slash of heavy black, so overwhelming.” Filmed while Moriyama was in Hong Kong for his first ever solo exhibition there, the short splices examples of his oeuvre with footage of the artist himself, whose short sentences are layered over the industrial beat of the city. The result taps into Moriyama’s engaged, multi-sensory experience of the metropolis, which he investigates using not only sight, but also smell and sound. Observations such as “The past cannot be captured by the present, the present can only be captured in the moment” crystallize what Moriyama refers to as “the mighty power” of photography.