The last film for Chanel No. 5 featuring Nicole Kidman was cringe worthy (except for the dashing figure of a man they chose for the lead. Beautiful). This film, however, is a visually stunning success. The brilliant Jean-Pierre Jeunet is the director behind it and the reason for the emotional feel and look of it all. He previously directly both Amelie and Delicatessen, two films in which you can easily see his style and how it's translated in this romantic short. Delicatessen is a masterpiece and one of my favourite films (highly recommend renting it for the look of it and its dark sense of humour).
I don't necessarily possess the vocabulary to speak about film so, in my own words, there's something magical about his work generally and here specifically for Chanel. I feel like I'm watching the world through a view finder or standing in front of a moving diorama at the museum. This is the way travel used to be and the way love and romance are written about in bodice rippers. This idealised universe exists parallel to my rushed reality where travellers squeeze into micro-seats in economy, speaking to no one, and dates are found on the internet.
Visually, he makes me feel like I'm seeing colour for the first time... it's like that moment when Dorothy steps out of black and white and into Technicolor. The detailing is at once old-fashioned and modern eclectic... sleepy train stations, tropical promenades, slow-moving river boats... the sounds are muted and are truly the sounds of travel. The song is a favourite. It all simply make me want to pack up a shift dress, scarf, sunnies, sandals and bottle of Chanel No. 5 and book a berth on the Orient Express, which means, it seems, that his cinematic genius is working for Chanel. The Victorian era of grand travel is evoked here in all its glory.
What a perfect marriage between the allure and glamour of travel (as it was) and the exotic with an iconic beauty product.
- Listen to the inteview with Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Audrey Tatou.
- Watch the flim on YouTube or Chanel5.com
- View the image gallery of shots during the making.