Chanel + Scorcese Reconsider The Color of Money

Posted: August 28, 2010 by RA in Advertising, Fashion

I love fragrance ads. No other subgenre fully embraces the conceptual, the pretentous, the over-the-top quite like it. When the pursuits of subtlety and tastefulness are removed from the equation, there’s no longer room for mediocrity — you’re either totally brilliant or an awesome trainwreck.

For this reason, I thoroughly enjoyed the ’90s golden age of fragrance ads. From Kate Moss’ iconic whisper to Vanessa Paradis’ haunting whistle, to Égoiste’s cringeworthy awesomeness, the ’90s had all the best shit.

Still (with apologies to Dior/Charlize/Marvin), nobody has done TV spots in the past decade quite like Chanel. Yes, they had a few missteps (Audrey Tautou, Kiera Knightley), but Estella Warren’s Red Riding Hood campaign alone (shot by king of eye candy, Luc Besson) makes up for both.

Still, the granddaddy of them all… The sickest, biggest, baddest, most cinematic in scope has to be Nicole Kidman’s Baz Luhrmann-directed short film for Chanel No. 5. Sure, it’s a series of clichés strung together by harp strings and soft fades, but it’s absolutely impeccably shot and fantastically art directed. Nothing they (or anyone else) ever create will match it in sheer scale.

Still, Chanel is willing to try. And so we get Marty Scorcese at the helm for Bleu, their latest scent for men, featuring a disgustingly attractive cast led by French actor Gaspard Ulliel (last seen Stateside in Hannibal Rising) and Canadian stunner Ingrid Schram. As you would expect from a Scorcese-lensed piece, it’s obviously grittier than your average Chanel ad. But it’s also got a surprisingly contemporary gloss to it that’s quite unexpected from Scorcese. The full short film is expected to premiere sometime in September, but from what I see of this shorter version, they wasted Marty’s talents.

Next time, Chanel. Next time.


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