Fashion film discoveries from festival founder Diane Pernet

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“Les Stars” – Serge Lutens

“‘Les Stars’ is the first film directed by the prolific photographer, filmmaker, fashion architect and perfume maker Serge Lutens. Having directed two short films in the 1970s, ‘Les Stars’ and ‘Suaire’, both were shown at the Cannes Film Festival. ‘Les Stars’, which is a spine-tingling visual masterpiece, ultimately made it into the official ‘Quinzaine des Realisateurs’ selection in 1976. But despite its reputation as a sensation, the film somehow became nearly impossible to find — even online — so it is a rare privilege to have it screening at ASVOFF after all these years tucked away in the creative vaults.”

“Live Nude Dancing” – Daniel Trese

“In ‘Live Nude Dancing’, the principal character becomes consumed by newfound fame. Starting off arrogant, cocky and confident, he seemingly knows that he has the seductive qualities to become a star. As he takes on his public persona, we enter on-and-off dual realities narrated through an extraordinary use of animation. One follows his intrinsic experience and submission to fame and the other his determination to maintain his status. Success quickly turns into greed, taking over his famished personality and clouded ego. Directed by Daniel Trese, a Los Angeles-based photographer and filmmaker.”

“Zillions” – Malcolm Venville

“An incredibly entertaining and near-perfect reflection on the fashion industry and how it really works. For this film, Venville navigated the alpine VIP frenzy to St. Moritz in order to interview fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld at the opening of his new exhibition. But having been confronted with the unrealistic expectations of Lagerfeld’s handlers, media throng and creative schedule, Venville simply delivered one potent but beguiling question to Lagerfeld instead. Malcolm Venville is a feature film director, a photographer and a director of commercials and music videos.”

“Shanzhai Biennial” – Martin Ahlgren et al.

“This is the second installment of ‘Shanzhai Biennial’ which debuted at MoMA PS1 in May on a 20 x 10 LED curtain. Featuring a Chinese model lip-syncing to a surreal Mandarin-language version of Sinead O’Conner’s version of Prince’s ‘Nothing Compares 2 U’, she dons a floor-length, sequined gown in the likeness of a bottle of Head & Shoulders anti-dandruff shampoo. Founded in 2013 in Beijing, Shanzhai Biennial is by a collective including Martin Ahlgren among others. It is both (and neither) a fake lifestyle brand or a fake art collective celebrating the Chinese Shanzhai phenomenon of ironic and politically-charged counterfeiting.”

“Autoerotic” – Can Evgin

“‘Autoerotic’ by Can Evgin has a beautifully-groomed woman dancing ecstatically in an elegant weave with a serpent. Every day, for a brief moment, this beautiful woman permits herself, whether by her own consciousness or by the nature of her being, to indulge in the sensuality of life, and embrace a moment of awakening by shedding herself from reality into an autoerotic fantasy.”

“Shakki” – Julien Landais

“‘Shakki’ starring the iconic Daphne Guinness is by Julien Landais. In what is essentially a sci-fi fashion film mixed with ideas of fashion power, transformation and influence, the premise of the film is “Who hasn’t dreamt of being someone else?” Martin has the power to enter other people’s bodies and dominate their souls thanks to Judith, with whom he made a Faustian pact. Although Judith abandoned him, Martin will persist tirelessly to conquer her again under different guises.”

“Sister Act” – Ellen Von Unwerth 

“It’s sassy, cheeky and somehow still seriously sexy. That’s what has always set Ellen apart from so many other fashion photographers. And her films do exactly the same thing — but with the bonus of a naughty little narrative as well. What stands out for me for this particular film of hers is the party pace she has set for the rhythm of the editing and perfectly chaotic camerawork, not to mention the infectious soundtrack. It’s unmistakably Ellen. Fresh and fun — two things we definitely need more of in fashion, whether they are characteristic of a fashion film or qualities we embrace in fashion behind the scenes.”

A curated selection of fashion, beauty and style films, A Shaded View of Fashion Film will take place at the Centre Pompidou in Paris October 11-13. 

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