Quirky indie director Wes Anderson made a new short film financed by Italian fashion brand Prada. The almost 8-minute long short is about an Italian American (played by Jason Schwartzman) race car driver crashing his car during a race in a (fictitious) Italian small town (Castello Cavalcanti) in the 1950s. Of course the film/ad looks beautiful as only cinematographer Darius Khondji is able to do. The story was co-written with no one other than fellow Academy Award nominee Roman Coppola and has a very Italian feel, while at the same time feeling unmistakably Wes Anderson.
As an Italian I was thrilled to hear my language spoken in a Wes Anderson film. Prada and Anderson are of course a great fit. He has worked for them before doing a commercial for Prada Candy L’eau (with Léa Seydoux). This isn’t the first time Anderson has worked with luxury brands (in general), for example on The Darjeeling Limited where all the luggage was designed by Louis Vuitton. He’s also done his fair share of Adidas product placement in films such as The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
Personally, I’m all for directors working with big brands if it helps them getting money to finance more of their art. Especially art house directors and auteurs who sometimes struggle with getting their projects financed are able to do something creative in exchange of a bit of “selling out”. Other notable examples I’d love to mention are David Lynch’s Blue Lady Shanghai (for Dior), Wong Kar-wai’s BMW short The Follow and any ad that has Sofia Coppola’s name on it of course.