Friday, May 15, 2009

Chanel N°5: Train de Nuit

If the last topic was slightly heavy, the new Chanel short film should be a distinct change of mood. Beautifully shot by director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, he last collaborated with actress Audrey Tautou on A very Long Engagement, an intimate visually moving epic set against the backdrop of World War I.
This Chanel N°5 ad is worlds away from Baz Lurhman's extravaganza with the infamous pouffy dress and glittering diamonds.
Here, luxury is understated. Present but quiet.

Shot in Istanbul but channelling Venice, the director chose to focus on Audrey's neck and bare shoulders as she stands in a simple black shift, a man embracing her from behind in the closing scene. Audrey is enchanting as usual, elegant and expressive. No obvious product placement is included, instead Jean-Pierre shot a magical scene of light refracted by the Chanel N°5 perfume bottle, thrown against the shadowy dark walnut confines of the train's compartment. Mysterious and ingenious.

{Behind the scenes look}

The Premise: according to the director.

"They had to look like they'd fallen head over heels in love. We couldn't think this was a one-night-stand. He's looking for his dream woman, and he falls under a spell from this perfume."

Having always wanted to make a sleeper train film, this was the perfect opportunity for director Jean-Pierre Jeunet to fulfill his vision of creating a piece about taking chances and lost opportunities.

"I love stories of fate and chance, I wrote in missed encounters and regret and tried to tell the story in a short time"

Jean-Pierre Jeunet's instruction to Audrey for this final moment:
"When he kisses your hand, it would be good if you almost fainted
Close your eyes... pretend to faint."

All images, my own edited Screencaptures. Watch the entire film and behind the scenes take here.