Watch: Jim Jarmusch Directs Chloë Sevigny, Charlotte Gainsbourg in Surreal New Saint Laurent Spring 2021 Film
The damage that COVID has done and continues to do to our insatiable cinephilia has been considerable and, if we can be a bit dramatic, at times utterly devastating. Indeed, being cut off from the regular release rotation of our favorite directeurs provocateurs has left a considerable hole in our culture-craving psyches.
But as so often happens in our lives, it’s fashion to the rescue once again. Indeed, the good people at Saint Laurent saw to engaging His Cinematic Eminence Jim Jarmusch to direct a new short film, titled French Water, to show off their Spring 2021 collection – and it’s a mystery wrapped in a surrealist riddle. The cast is a who’s who of whom we would most love to see starring in fashion film directed by Jarmusch: Chloë Sevigny, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Leo Reilly, Julianne Moore and Indya Moore of Pose fame. Saint Laurent designer Anthony Vaccarello acted as Creative Director for the production, and the music is by Brian Jonestown Massacre.
In it, Gainsbourg (who Sevigny amusingly refers to as a “French bitch”) is an enigmatic, sunglassed figure, appearing and disappearing in a near empty ballroom – or quite extravagant restaurant – where a deliciously decadent dinner has just taken place. The attendees have all since gone home, save for a sharply suited, dead-eyed Leo Reilly, carrying a tray of water glasses, and being taunted by Charlotte’s “magic.”
Gainsbourg is then alternately seen playing chess with herself, and oscillating wildly in a parking lot, before picking up a book of Poe short stories, and reading a particularly astute quote from the Godfather of Goth’s Eleonora: “Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” One imagines that she, and the director, are counted amongst the former.
It ultimately ends with Reilly, alone, at last drinking from one of the water glasses he has been balancing for nine minutes – and with viewers left to sort through all the possible metaphors. But we think a good takeaway would be, drink more water, read more Poe, and watch more Jim Jarmusch films – and always look good doing it.