Stella McCartney Menswear Film with Cillian Murphy

Sean Ellis –  auteur of many a dark oeuvres both as a fashion photographer in the 90s and presently as an Oscar-nominated film director –  has lent his magic to the McCartney maison with a new short film for Stella’s AW17 debut menswear collection. The film (below) stars the ever-enigmatic Cillian Murphy whose presence could, let’s face it, turn a Teletubbies episode into a visceral piece of art. Here the actor, dressed in a tailored and narrow legged grey suit, rakish booties and Stella’s favourite camel coat from the collection, has an epiphany, or rather a series of them. There’s undeniably a Lynchian feel (as well as, if you ask us, a splash  Alejandro González Iñárritu melancholy)  to this abstract short that flits between past and present; a real and unreal claustrophobia at once represented by the forest and a boxed in space where Cillian is assaulted by strobe lighting. The film was shot by Ellis in Buckinghamshire not long after Stella met the director and the actor at her November menswear launch. They decided to unite on a project and did so without delay, which is something highly commendable in this day and age. i.e. it’s nice to know that there are still some mega brands out there that work organically despite the cradle of the conglomerate (Stella McCartney is half owned by Kering).

Ellis’s vastly underrated Anthropoid, the true story of the assassination of Nazi officer Reinhard Heydrich, also starred the brilliant Murphy, and you can grasp from this very short film that the pair have a certain confidence and chemistry when they work together. Silent and ominous, Murphy visual expressions show bewilderment, curiosity and placid confusion in equal measures. Ellis, in turn, has managed to create a sense of anxiety within a clichéd environment (an eerie forest) without being clichéd in the slightest. The masterstroke is the music, composed by Stella’s pops, Paul McCartney. It’s distorted, immersive and positively John Cage in parts. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much of a collector of sounds he is, the best ones being the deep echoes that make you feel you’ve been plunged into a black hole.

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Speaking of the film, Stella sounded deservedly chuffed with herself:

“Working with Sean was so effortless and the results are exactly what I intended…. the mood is one that reflects the more tailored edge of the menswear and manages to have suspense with Cillian’s performance married with my Dad’s original score. To have this team is a dream… I hope you love the results as much as I do!” AZ