Sun-Kissed Fragments on the Adriatic Coast from Director Danny Sangra
“We were staying on a cliff that over looked the ocean,” says Danny Sangra of filming on the romantic hillside roads and beaches of Trieste in northeastern Italy. “Everywhere we went you could see houses hidden on the hillsides. Almost everything looked like a perfect setting for a film.” Starring Laurie Erskine—whose crystalline R&B track “All the Days” is his first under the Club Kuru moniker—and Icelandic model Sif Agustsdottir, the video references the feel of Dario Argento’s oeuvre, The Graduate, and the styling of The Talented Mr Ripley. “I wanted to make something non-linear, more like 1960s Italian experimental filmmaking,” says Sangra, who has directed films for A$AP Rocky, Metronomy and Mykki Blanco. At Erskine's behest, the artist and filmmaker based the fragmented nature of the video on ‘Kuru,’ a disease specific to Papua New Guinea that causes physiological and neurological effects, opening it with long, sun-dappled memories before things deteriorate into chaos.
Viv Albertine is an Artist Unleashed Between Four Walls in the Director's Study of Domesticity
“I had absolutely no fear,” says
former Slits guitarist and punk icon Viv Albertine of taking on the role of artist D at the
last minute, at the behest of her close friend Joanna Hogg. “I said: ‘I’m
putting myself completely in your hands, I’m like your baby, do what you
want with me.’” The writer and director’s third feature film Exhibition depicts the often-silent relationship of her two
protagonists—D's husband H is
played by conceptualist one-time YBA, Liam Gillick—who are readying to leave their home. Defying the rural settings of 2008’s Unrelated and 2010’s Archipelago, this work led the former apprentice of Derek Jarman back to her home city of London. “I wanted to push myself into new territory,” explains the director, who premiered the film at the 2013 Locarno Film Festival. “I was interested in looking at a marriage, a husband and a wife of a certain age existing within the space in which they live and work.” The third protagonist of the story is the setting itself; the property’s staunch angles and walls of glass form one of the only private homes built by late Modernist giant James Melvin, to whom the film is dedicated.
Exhibition opens in the UK on April 25.
The English Songstress Performs a Tale of American Heartbreak in Vincent Haycock's New Video
A relationship falls apart in the desert towns and fog-soaked coast of California as the baroque pop chanteuse and Karl Lagerfeld and Gucci muse Florence Welch takes on a cinematic role in this second collaboration with LA-based director Vincent Haycock. After helming the narrative music video for Welch’s Calvin Harris-produced disco hit “Sweet Nothing”, Haycock wanted to further explore singer’s interest in acting in his film for “Lover to Lover”, the latest single from her hit sophomore album Ceremonials. “She wasn’t just Florence, she was playing a character,” he says. “It was exciting to take someone who’s built such an iconic visual style, with the floaty dresses and distinct look of her videos, and do something really different.” Performing opposite Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn, who stars alongside Brad Pitt in the forthcoming flick, Killing Them Softly, Welch's on-screen interpretation echoes the track’s heart-aching refrain, “There’s no salvation for me now.” Beginning in a drab Los Angeles house and building to a cathartic gospel frenzy, the romance ends as the lovesick heroine disappears amid mist into the Pacific Ocean. “The waves were enormous, it was freezing cold and four in the morning—I was weeping all the way in I was so scared,” recounts the MTV Award-winning singer, laughing. “It was the most intense experience because we shot the whole day before; I went back to the hotel, slept for three hours, woke up and dove into the sea.”
How did the concept for this character come about?
I was going through a phase where I was thinking about what I wanted from life, asking, do I want a husband and a child? Why do I think I need that?
What was it like to film such intense scenes with a proper actor like Ben Mendelsohn?
It was an emotional day and it brought up a lot of things. I’d come to the end of this massive tour and just needed to go home. I was tired and disoriented because Southern California doesn't have seasons--everything's getting cold back home and the leaves are falling but in LA everything’s in this stasis. I think I was screaming, “This isn’t real, I don’t know what’s going on!" and Ben was screaming back, “You’re here, you’re here!”
Did you have a script?
It was completely improvised. I had to think about things that I was actually angry and upset about. It is cathartic, but you have to literally let yourself go. Ben is so sweet and accommodating--afterwards he gave me this massive hug and made me feel so comfortable.
Do you plan to take some time off now?
I’m not going to tour for a year after this one. I’ve been doing it since I was 21 and I think it’s time really to settle into moving out of my mum's! But I’m not going to stop writing. Playing live is my biggest passion, but I’ve got a lot of ideas, and I need the space to work on them.