Who’s Rodrigo Prieto? You might ask. Valid question. I had no idea either. He’s a cinematographer. He has worked with some of the hottest directors on some of the hottest pictures: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros, Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution, Pedro Almodóvar’s Broken Embraces, Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo and the upcoming Martin Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street (to name a few). Quite the résumé. I’m stunned his name didn’t stuck with me, because looking at his filmography, those are all beautiful looking films. After such impressive collaborations it looks like he’s ready to direct a something of his own.
Likeness is Rodrigo Prieto’s début short film starring the ever lovely and adorable Elle Fanning. He couldn’t have picked a more suitable actress for the role if he tried. Not only has Elle grown to become a beautiful woman, but her already incredible acting skills are blossoming as well. Like her sister Dakota, Elle seems to have a natural gift for acting and has an amazing resume of herself working with directors such as Tony Scott, J.J. Abrams, David Fincher, Sofia Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola. Both Prieto and Fanning worked together on Babel and the aforementioned We Bought a Zoo, so technically this is their third collaboration.
As you would expect from a cinematographer who turns director this short looks beautiful. It’s full of shiny neon lights and gloomy dark rooms, just like in that David Lynch ad for Dior (Blue Lady Shanghai). There isn’t really much dialogue and it’s all about style and fashion, which I love. It’s quite spectacular and entrancing. Very hypnotic. What’s it about? That’s hard to say. The setting is a party, but everyone seems to be either sick or super drugged. We see a lot of beautiful models of both sexes, but it feels like something’s wrong and you can’t really tell what. We see Elle Fanning peeling skin off of her face in a toilet, like something out of Black Swan and then that’s about it plot-wise. Intensely atmospheric. I like it.