The Met, the movies and Madison Avenue all compete for a few Broadway slots in 2018. What will separate them?
The “back to school” is the time of year when parents, teachers and students are all trying to get ready for the new school year. The Met, the movies and Madison Avenue mix it up.
Martin Scorsese, like reading between the lines, finds significance not just in what you see but also in what you don’t see. “Cinema is a question of what’s in the frame and what’s out,” he famously declared.
This point is shown in a costume display he put on for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which raises more problems than it answers.
Not high fashion comes to mind when you think of this iconic filmmaker, but gritty flicks like “Taxi Driver.”
Scorsese’s cinematic instinct was clearly invoked when the Met requested him to create a single-frame film that isn’t a film, employing mannequins as performers.
Creating film magic
Scorsese responded by casting a cast of dressmaker dummies as attendees at a formal social event, either in discussion or in self-absorbed solitude. Both activities are fascinating.
According to the press, the scenario was staged to convey a tale “that could be felt throughout the length of the room.” One impression you can receive is that the party goers are anticipating something or someone, possibly the party host.
Two female visitors in red-carpet-worthy evening dresses, as well as two other similarly gowned ladies nearby, take center stage. But you’re puzzled as to why another of the female visitors is crying in front of a man’s photo.
The artwork was obviously hanging by the host — maybe it’s her late spouse. So, why is this lady crying? Was it he, a family member, or her lover? With Scorsese’s staging, you can’t help but make up scenarios like that.
There’s more to the scene than meets the eye. Another female visitor sits alone across the room, her back to an approaching masculine figure.
You may be wondering what’s up with that.
“My aim is that people will walk away with various possibilities unfolding in their mind’s eye,” Scorsese stated in a written statement next to the tableau.
Take a smell of it!
As strange as it may seem that Scorsese is directing a fashion show, it isn’t his first unique job. He created a commercial for the men’s perfume Bleu de Chanel in 2010, featuring French actor Gaspard Ulliel.
Scorsese’s characteristic bag of tricks is on display in this advertisement, which is a fast-paced, energetic, jagged combination of closeups and long views, along with his favorite Rolling Stones singing their 1965 song “She Said Yeah.”
Despite its short duration, this commercial seems like a full-length feature film about a Hollywood celebrity who battled to get famous (as shown in a brief flashback) but now resents the spotlight.
At a press conference surrounded by cameras and flashbulbs, the price of fame is evident. However, you may feel compelled, as I do, to interrupt the scene and inform the celebrity that his or her wound is self-inflicted.
“I’m not going to be the guy you want me to be anymore,” Gaspard says as he walks out from the press conference, ensuring that you understand the link between his video and the men’s perfume. Then there’s a voiceover that says, “Be the unexpected.”
Be Chanel Bleu.”
But there’s a catch. This film not only tells a visually engaging narrative, but it also pokes fun at celebrities who whine about not being able to live regular lives.
This takes me back to the Met’s staged soiree. Given that a lady tears silently over a photo at her host’s house, one can’t help but wonder if Scorsese didn’t extend his dig at Hollywood royalty to the museum.
RESERVATION OF ALL RIGHTS
The “movie theater with food” is a new trend that has been taking the United States by storm. It combines the movie theater experience with a restaurant. The Met, the movies and Madison Avenue mix it up.
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