August 4, 2014

David Lynch Directs Maybe the Strangest Ad for $50 Louboutin Nail Polish You've Ever Seen

It's nothing new when big name directors lend their incredible feature filmmaking abilities to make commercials and advertisements. Martin Scorsese directed a Chanel commercial for their male fragrance Bleu; Wes Anderson directed two commercials for Prada, one staring Blue is the Warmest Color's Léa Seydoux and one with Jason Schwartzman as a Formula One driver that pays homage to Fellini. This time, David Lynch flexes his avant-garde muscles to create this mind-bending ad for Christian Louboutin's new line of $50 nail polish.

Take a look at the commercial below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJDzzV1_Yoc

Loubouin polish

The name Christian Louboutin has become synonymous with high fashion. The extravagant purses and heels with their trademarked signature red soles scream glamor, power, and style, and David Lynch doesn't seem like he would be, perhaps at first, the first choice to create the environment in which to advertise designer nail polish.

But not only do Lynch and Louboutin have a history of collaboration, but the director might just be the perfect architect for a high fashion advertisement. Lynch's adept ability to summon intrigue within an ethereal cinematic world with his highly sexualized content translates well into fashion. It's erotic. It's couture. It's avant-garde. It "blur[s]the line between high fashion and fetish," as well as filmmaking. The composition of the ad, the pristine, all-white structures, the shape of the heel and polish, are reminiscent of Nagel, the dark simplicity of Robert Palmer's Addicted to Love video. (Lynch's work always reminds me of this video -- it's that kind of uneasy, dated aesthetic that if you woke up in the middle of the night and it was on TV, you'd feel as though someone was lurking in your closet, watching you as you slept. Weird? Yeah, Lynch's style is weird.)

At any rate, I'm not all that interested in what this commercial signifies for the fashion world (are we about to see the prevailing taste make way for a resurgence of minimalist, Art Deco-inspired clothing, makeup, and hairstyles?). What's interesting is seeing a feature filmmaking heavyweight like David Lynch share his unique style across platforms.

[via Fast Co. Design]

Your Comment

33 Comments

Uhhh....that's just weird....

Sorry, but I think they sort of missed the mark on that one. It does, however inspire me to go play some late 90's video games....

August 5, 2014 at 1:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Brendan

You´re fucking stupid.

August 5, 2014 at 6:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Sarah Connor

And YOU are breaking the rules of being a constructive member of this thread. ie, society.

August 5, 2014 at 11:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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^kinda funny tho

August 5, 2014 at 11:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mike

I laughed

August 5, 2014 at 4:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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David Stewart

I laughed too.

August 7, 2014 at 7:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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james

ever heard of freedom of speech? besides, this is just stupid, the polisher and the video :/

August 9, 2014 at 3:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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cardoso

Not really any stranger than 50% of motion graphics work these days. I love David Lynch but if I didn't see his name I don't think it would have impressed me to be honest. Not bad or anything, just not special.

August 5, 2014 at 2:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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mike

Although I totally agree with you that in the grand scheme of things it isn't THAT weird, I guess it's all about context and if asked the question "what is the weirdest commercial for $50 Louboutin nail polish you ever saw?" I would probably point at this ;)

August 5, 2014 at 5:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Giggle. I always said it, and now even more: totally overhyped guy... it even doesn't look nice...

August 5, 2014 at 2:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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mariano

Say what you like but Lynch is not over hyped, he may no longer be popular like Carpenter, but he was definitely an influential and brilliant film maker in his heyday and an auteur to boot. Not all directors can transition out of the era they were notable for. It happens. Twin Peaks remains as one of the best and most influential pieces of TV ever created. He deserves some respect.

August 5, 2014 at 1:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Shaun Fontaine

It's really just the odd CGI buildings on some planet that are weird. If you took those parts out and just made it about the shoe and the bottle it would be less weird. Yeah, David Lynch is weird, and I like his weird stuff, but those buildings just seem more out of place than weird.

But I love the rest of the ad.

August 5, 2014 at 3:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Julian

How are you supposed to wear that high heel?

August 5, 2014 at 3:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Sawyer

Love it. Architectural verticality that exaggerates and equates an imaginary yet identifiable red-bottom shoe to a phallic perfume bottle? Pure Lynch. Mixing simplistic retro graphic geometry with the one primary color associated to the brand in an interesting way? Very Lynch. Weirdness that makes you ponder what he's doing? Lynch. I'm glad they had him abstract the boundaries as opposed to a presenting a conventional piss poor glamour ad.

August 5, 2014 at 3:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Although you may be right, some how this also reminds me that people have tendency to find reasons even when there are none. Film critics, film school students, making in depth analyses, essays, thesis about inner meanings of movies when they can only guess. Many time things are created because it just felt right, not necessary because it had dozens of layers of hidden meanings to put in. We will never know what Lynch's original idea and reasons were.. you may be correct on what you analysed, or it could be something else... I wouldn't be surprised if there were no reasons at all and he just did it cause he could and cause he is Lynch. When someone criticises then the answer is "you just don't get it". Anyways, I think there is a reason why many movie directors keep doing movies and some prize winning ad directors never make the move to movies. They are two different games.

August 5, 2014 at 5:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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ts

There was a very interesting discusssion quite some years ago. Cameramen were arguing about Lars von Trier`s "breaking the waves" and one of them loved the blurred images that came up now and then, reading quite some stuff into it. Robby Müller, Trier`s DOP just answered: Our wireless follow focus was broken...

August 5, 2014 at 11:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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mariano

Great points. We won't really know unless Lynch himself comments on it. While there are some elements of the ad that I can appreciate, and I'm certainly not saying "I would have done this and this better....", I just think it's a little too self absorbed. I guess that might be the tone they are trying for though, considering the brand.

I will say that I think my wife would really appreciate this nail polish. I think I'll buy some.

August 5, 2014 at 12:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Brendan

No need to over intellectualize it. Please Mr Lynch, enough with the crazy clown music and perfume ads, give us a new film. Cinema is dying.

August 5, 2014 at 12:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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TruthNuggets

I think perhaps it's worth pointing out that commercials are not an auteur medium. He would be working from boards, with a team assembled for him. Considering it is motion graphic work I wonder how involved he was beyond shooting the hands and approving things.

August 5, 2014 at 4:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Keith

I think he made the music too since he's more busy with music than with filmmaking.

August 5, 2014 at 4:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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"What’s interesting is seeing a feature filmmaking heavyweight like David Lynch share his unique style across platforms."

I appreciate the article but Lynch has done a number of commercials before. Quoting wikipedia here: "Lynch was also involved in the creation of various commercials for different companies, including perfume companies like Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein and Giorgio Armani and the Japanese coffee company Namoi, which featured a Japanese man searching the town of Twin Peaks for his missing wife."

August 5, 2014 at 6:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Anna

I want my MTV!

August 5, 2014 at 6:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Ed

This isn't that weird; it's just bad.

August 5, 2014 at 7:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Philipp Böhlen

I think the Mike Figgis ad campaign for Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas blows this out of the water. The products are certainly not comparable but if you want to show an example of a weird commercial by a famous film director here you go:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMyNLVJ-3T8

August 5, 2014 at 10:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Love this commercial. Waay beyond the creativity of most advertising.

August 5, 2014 at 1:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Kris

It's not that weird. Really. Nice, but weird ?

August 6, 2014 at 5:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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FabDex

What I find most interesting is the similarity this has to his really early animated work, which you can find via cinearchive.org for comparison.

August 5, 2014 at 1:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Réjean

I like that it's different than most fashion/glamour ads, but honestly if I didn't know it was Lynch I'd think it was a high school media arts project. I do love his "The Angriest Dog in the World" comic, though...

August 5, 2014 at 2:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Mark

I'm not excactly sure why, but my mind screams "80s style musicvideos!".

It doesn't 'touch' me, but red, white and black are always a great combo.

Just like this strange music video (not from the 80s). I don't know who made it, but I think it's cooler than Lynch's add.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFdcf_XUAKM

August 5, 2014 at 7:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Wow. That looked quite hokey to me. I wouldn't have been very surprised if you told me it was some film student's advertising assignment.

August 7, 2014 at 8:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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looks like a student film

August 7, 2014 at 10:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Very odd.

August 8, 2014 at 12:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Seems odd to be comparing works by "famous directors" as if they should be a category onto themselves. A week before they were famous they probably would have made the same artistic choices. The work should stand on it's own regardless of who directed it. It seems to me that the nail polish commercial works well because it has confidence of vision. We happen to know Lynch has a lot of that, but it would shine through if we didn't know who had directed it.

August 8, 2014 at 8:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Billy Barber