Have you ever found yourself in a foreign country, jet lagged but wide awake. You turn the TV on, flick through the channels, and happen upon a film that, while strangely compelling, you just can't make head nor tail of? Perhaps it's your exhausted brain or something's getting lost in translation, but either way, you're not sure you're getting the whole story, yet feel too invested to bail out. That's how you may well feel watching Beyond Mountains, More Mountains, an Italian road movie initiated by the hunt for a lost boot from directorial team CANADA, created for fashion label 55DSL.
A heads up, there are a few NSFW moments of nudity in this one.
Known for their extensive music video work, CANADA's (Luis Cervero, Nicolás Méndez and Lope Serrano) contribution to 55DSL's Kids In Italia series -- and a showcase for the label's 2012 fall/winter collection -- is their first foray into the world of shorts. The trio took a small crew and models Viktorija Pacenko and Simone Riccioni on a 12 day Italian road trip -- travelling from the Northern Italy mountains down to the Sicilian Island of Stromboli in the far South. The decision to shoot Beyond Mountains, More Mountains on 16mm deriving from the team's love of the feeling the medium produces as opposed to a desire to achieve any kind of 'retro' styled footage. Underlying the whole project from its earliest stages was this concept of CANADA's search to capture the 'idea' of Italy as they'd experienced it second-hand through the work of other artists:
All three of us were brought up surrounded by hints of Italian culture, from ancient Rome to Italo-disco. When thinking about what to write, we thought about the Italian artists, the poets, writers, painters and filmmakers that we love, and how we know Italy through them. In the search for ‘that Italy’ we came up with the idea: this Italy we are talking about may not exist anymore. So we found it more realistic to portray our own experience confronting that idea of Italy that we have, historically, and the existing post-Berlusconi Italy we were to find, the contradiction itself. That’s why the film starts with Victoria losing her boot: she is trying to find her boot, just like us.
The film's soundtrack also conformed to the italian aesthetic with all music coming from italian film composer Riz Ortolani, with the exception of the single track Vendetta, which was specially composed for the film by Toni Mir of Trafalgar 13.
As mentioned above, Beyond Mountains, More Mountains is just one film in a series rolling out under the Kids In Italia banner which began with David Altobelli's film, ROMA:
And recently found the Italian spirit deep in the U.S. in Aofie McArdle's Italy, Texas:
Whilst it's true that the fashion film is nothing new, I'm glad to see an increasing number of labels happy to set the film creatives loose with their ideas; sometimes with absolutely no requirement to feature the product, such as in Amanda Boyle's Vimeo Awards Fashion winner Mulberry Skirt.
Have you worked on a fashion film that was given free creative reign from the label? Are there other fashion films you've seen which surpass their promo roots?