Escapade: A Parisian Love Affair

Martial Schmeltz’s Story of a Secret City for Luxury Design House Pierre Frey

“It’s a nighttime romance in Paris,” says French director Martial Schmeltz of his enchanting short film that stars Amandine Decroix and Pierre-Benoit Talbourdet Napoleone. “A city of wild, classy, underground glamor—the perfect playground for games of seduction.” Escapade is both a love story between the two alluring protagonists and an homage to the City of Lights. Cours Florent-trained Decroix and fellow model and actor Talbourdet Napoleone play the film’s cat-and-mouse lovers, meeting up across three iconic—yet secret—Parisian locations that feature interiors by the luxurious Pierre Frey. Founded in 1935, Pierre Frey’s timeless patterns and fabrics reflect the traditions of Parisian history and set the mood of the film’s dreamlike atmosphere with an amorous piano-led score by Mattias Mimoun. “Pierre Frey knows better than anyone what colors and patterns suit this city, and creating a picture filled with lots of color emphasizes the feeling of love,” says Schmeltz, who has made award-winning music videos for Justice, Chromeo and The Streets with his longtime collaborator, Surface2air’s Jeremie Rozan. “The production design could act as subtitles for each scene, while the three locations emphasize the emotional tension of the film.” The collaboration ultimately works as an ode to the city. “This film is a declaration of love to Paris,” muses Talbourdet Napoleone, “the elegance and eroticism.”

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Conversations (3)

  • Franco De Rose
    Totally French.....
    beautiful fabrics! Bravo Pierre Frey for the artistic short film!
  • mXdino
    Exquisite! Extremely beautiful, and typically Parisian....
    • Posted By mXdino
    • September 05, 2013 at 9:39AM
    • Share Comment:

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    Thierry Boutemy: Floral Artistry

    Fashion’s Premier Florist Reveals the Secrets of a Perfect Bouquet

    Florist du jour Thierry Boutemy opens up his chimerical workshop in downtown Brussels for photographer Estelle Hanania. Growing up in the lush green pastures of rural Normandy amidst primroses, daffodils and wood anemones, Boutemy’s career blossomed after moving to Belgium 15 years ago to start his own business, Floriste. After working on Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film Marie Antoinette, Boutemy became a sought after figure in the deluxe fashion scene, and has since collaborated with Mario Testino for the Lady Gaga cover of American Vogue last March and the likes of Lanvin, Dior and Dries Van Noten. “I try to move away from a predefined need,” Boutemy explains of his compositions. “Each bouquet should have an impulsive, imperfect feel to it. It’s a two-way discussion.” Away from his high-profile assignments, Boutemy can be found quietly composing arrangements peppered with buttercups, stems of wheat, branches and raw foliage for the birthday and anniversary requests of local clients. “Flowers, like life, must happen organically,” he says. “Complications make everything less interesting.” Here the quietly spoken Frenchman, who is currently collaborating on Michel Gondry’s next film L’Écume des Jours, recommends the right flowers for life’s momentous occasions and remembers some of his favorite bouquets.

    For weddings
    Simplicity. I’ve just done a wedding, and the couple didn’t want to overdo it, which I think is best. There is no need for frills around such an event. All I used were flowering cherry tree branches. Effortless.

    For Marie Antoinette
    To each epoch its bouquet. You can tell by looking at flowers in a painting or a photograph when it was made. A 1980s flower bunch is nothing like a 1960s one. As for the 18th-century, it was an era I researched when working on Marie Antoinette. It is a time I always had a personal attraction for. Nothing needlessly sophisticated, we only used “natural” flowers of the time.

    For birthdays 
    Wild. Spontaneous. Nothing holding you back. I’d go for something very colorful, and definitely not sweet. I would mix wild or natural flowers, always seasonal. Poppies would be good. Definitely no roses or orchids.

    For Lady Gaga

    Mario Testino is extraordinary. He spotted my work in Milan and called five years later for a photo shoot. He has a real sensitivity. He is an aesthete. For the Gaga shoot in Vogue, he let me do whatever I wanted. I had all the material I had preselected, but came up with the design on the spot—which is how I prefer to work. Nothing premeditated. I chose something leafy and ephemeral, very wild. It looked extremely simple, although it wasn’t.

    For Sofia Coppola
    Ah, Coppola! Sofia is someone very important to me. Our collaboration happened in a natural, soft way. She is a beautiful person and I owe her a lot. After working on Marie Antoinette––which was a real springboard for me––I went on to do her wedding. She invited me to attend the ceremony, which almost never happens. I was very touched. There was a natural understanding between us; we spoke little but were on the same wavelength. She is extremely grounded, normal, and so is her husband [Thomas Mars of the band Phoenix].

    For saying sorry
    Nothing. Flowers cannot serve as an apology. In fact, buying anything to say sorry bothers me. The only thing you can do is pluck a flower yourself.

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    Matteo Garrone: The Player

    The Cannes Grand Prix-Winner Talks Love, Chance and Celluloid with Fellow Director Chiara Clemente

    Touted as the pioneer of a renaissance in Italian cinema, director Matteo Garrone takes us through the shadowy streets of his native Rome and into an intimate card game in this new film by Chiara Clemente. Since his rise to prominence after winning the Sacher d’Oro award for the short Silhouette in 1996, Garrone has become known and feted internationally for the 2008 film Gomorrah, the nuanced chronicle of the Casalesi clan—a faction of Naples’ notorious Camorra—that earned him multiple Best Director awards while unveiling tensions and intimacies between the Italian government and the country’s organized crime syndicates. His latest work, Reality, takes on the world of the ubiquitous television genre. In anticipation of its release, Garrone opened up his life in the Italian capital to filmmaker Clemente, whose own acclaimed work includes the Sundance Channel’s Beginnings as well as the series Made Here: Performing Artists on Work and Life in New York City. Clemente was a fan of Garrone's when she began working on today's short, having been entranced and inspired after seeing The Embalmer as a recent film school grad, yet she quickly found they had more in common than their chosen profession. “I discovered shortly after we started talking that his mother took amazing photographs of my mother when she was very young and a theater actress,” muses the director. “Here I was doing a portrait of him, and his mother had done a similar thing with my mother more than 30 years before.” Interlacing the multicultural surrounds of Garrone’s city with his love of sensuality and the at times unpredictable game of poker, Clemente's intimate portrait reveals that “the most exciting moments in a documentary happen by chance.”

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