Lana Del Rey continues to position herself a tragic personage in American pop culture. A golden-lit Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and John Wayne (and Jesus!) figure prominently in her latest endeavor, Tropico, a 24-minute short film (not counting credits) encompassing several new songs (Body Electric, Gods and Monsters, Bel-Air). Directed by music-video veteran Anthony Mandler (Rihanna, Drake, Mary J. Blige), the epic video depicts the singer in guises ranging from Eve (as in Garden of Eden) to a latter-day stripper.
The film was screened last night in Los angeles, introduced by Lana Del Rey, who said: "I really just wanted us all to be together so I could try and visually close out my chapter before I release the new record, Ultraviolence." This and other allusions to quitting the business, like tweeting about a "farewell project," has spelled high anticipation for Tropico. It isn't at all certain if expectations will be met (it's pretty insane), but thank goodness someone is going out on a limb.
Appropriately, Lars von Trier has been such a tease with his upcoming art-porn flick, Nymphomaniac, releasing clips here and there. Now, released today, comes the official trailer, probably the most explicit glimpse yet. A subliminal flash of shaved beaver within the first couple of seconds is followed by snippets of the star-studded cast — Charlotte Gainsbourg, Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Stellan Skarsgård, Uma Thurman, Willem Dafoe — getting into some very sticky situations as they work out their sex addiction. If Antichrist made you feel awkward, and if Melancholia made you bored, just wait.
A U.S. release date is still unknown, but the film will debut in the director's native Denmark on Christmas, of course.
Karl Lagerfeld is hardly giving up on filmmaking. In fact, his Chanel mini-biopics are getting longer and he's now shooting in color. Here's a teaser for The Return, his directorial account of Coco Chanel's last great comeback, in the 1950s. She was 71 and drawn out of semi-retirement by her loathing of Christian Dior's ultra-feminine New Look.
The teaser shows Rupert Everett, who plays an American journalist, praising the actress Géraldine Chaplin in the role of Chanel. Others in Mademoiselle's orbit at the time are, as usual, played by a motley mix of models and muses in Lagerfeld's own orbit. Lady Amanda Harlech takes on Bettina Ballard, fashion editor of American Vogue; model Heidi Mount portrays Marlene Dietrich; and hair stylist Sam McKnight is Chanel’s butler, Francois.
The full 30-minute film will be shown at the designer's Métiers d’Art collection in Dallas, Texas, on December 10 and on Chanel.com.
No less than two films about Yves Saint Laurent are in the works. Both of them have a 2014 release date and both of them are, of course, French productions.
We've been reporting about the first, Saint Laurent (premiering May 2014, possibly at Cannes), starring the sizzling model-actor Gaspard Ulliel as the couturier and Willem Dafoe in the role of Andy Warhol.
Now comes the trailer for the second, Yves Saint Laurent (January 2014), with French actor Pierre Niney in the title role. Beginning in 1957, the year YSL was tapped to take over the house of Christian Dior, at just 21, the biopic follows traces his spectacular career, as well as his tumultuous relationship with Pierre Bergé. We also see a recreation of that nudie he did in 1971 for his first men's fragrance, Pour Homme.
A few weeks ago, when we posted a bare-assed Coming Soon image for a video of Dsquared's new underwear line, it was removed from our Facebook page, which was then frozen for 24 hours. The incident only confirmed to us the hotness of the video we would soon see — and now here it is, released today.
Sure enough, in a master stroke, Steven Klein has brought together beefcake models (Matt Woodhouse, Ryan Bertroche, Travis Hanson), bondage accoutrements, menacing eyepatches, a dungeon-like setting, and good old whitey tighties. It's highly stylized and self-aware — a cheeky nod to hardcore 50s male erotica.
In the latest video from Dior Homme's Kris Van Assche and Willy Vanderperre — their fifth such collaboration — the past and future eerily converge in an upscale billiards club. Male models take on a subtly sci-fi suited look, like something out of The Matrix combined with The Color of Money. Or as it's described in an email, "cadets on furlough waiting to embark on space travel." Van Assche aptly calls it the "futuristic elite" — a lot like his fall 2013 collection. So, mission accomplished.
Following the trailer last week, here is director Todd Coles' full 12-minute fashion film — made in collaboration with Vice's The Creators Project — featuring Rodarte's medieval-themed spring 2013 collection. (How is it these pieces did not wind up in Sean Parker's over-the-top wedding?)
Living up to the title, This Must Be the Only Fantasy, the video centers on a group of suburban teens in the middle of a fantasy role-playing game, a la Dungeons and Dragons, when one of them — the only girl — gets up and leaves the room. On the quiet residential street out front, she then encounters strange creatures, unexplained phenomena, portals to another time and/or place, otherworldly orbs of color, Guinevere Van Seenus in butterfly wings, Elijah Wood (who you might expect to be playing Frodo, but is not), and lots of clothes fit for a princess. Plus, as if it needs mentioning, she pets a unicorn.
Or watch it on The Creators Project website
It's been a long time coming, but now the Carine Roitfeld documentary, Mademoiselle C, is only a month away, opening September 11 in limited release (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Dallas). Directed by Fabien Constant, the film follows the making of the first issue of CR Fashion Book, the super-stylist's own magazine following her departure from French Vogue. As expected, a slew of stars and fashion celebrities make appearances and singe their praises of Carine. And apparently no one, not even Carine herself, can believe she's a grandmother. Watch the just-released trailer...