In October of last year, we wrote a lengthy feature asking where Chris Cunningham had been. Who's Chris Cunningham you ask?
Well, put it this way: in the original Director's Label series -- a now seminal series of DVDs highlighting the work of notable music video director's -- there were three important filmmakers featured, Michel Gondry (we mentioned his new music video DVD today), Spike Jonze and Chris Cunnignham.
Cunningham created arresting visual works of a grotesquely abstract mien with disturbing imagery for artists like Madonna ("Frozen"), Portishead ("Only You"), Aphex Twin ("Windowlicker," "Come To Daddy"), Squarepusher ("Come On My Selector"), Björk (the lesbian robots of "All Is Full of Love") and Autechre ("Second Bad Vilbel").
Many expected Cunningham's career to jump to feature film, much like Gondry's and Jonze's have, and finally last year the most concrete piece of evidence pointing towards a tangible movie project came out when the director himself said he was working on what he would "loosely describe" as a horror and one that sort of reminded him of "American Werewolf in London."
What happened to that project? Knowing Cunningham (who has also worked on a lot of short films and art projects), it's still in gestation, but in the meantime, Twitter lit up this morning with news of a commercial he did for Gucci that Dazed has written an in-depth piece about.
Naturally, it's beautiful and sun-dappled and well, a little creepy in its own way.
"Cunningham's film, starring Australian model Abbey Lee, captures the seductive and ultra-feminine notes of the new fragrance while emphasizing its call to strength and self confidence. A young woman in a diaphanous Flora print dress stands waist high in the middle of a seemingly unending mass of pristine white flowers, illuminated from behind by the setting sun. Taking on the power of nature she controls the movement of the wind to bring the field to life before shape-shifting into a ephemeral, Rorschach-like butterfly of dancing fabric and golden light. Shot over four days in Latvia during July last year, the film's field was created using more than 20,000 fake flowers."Wait, what's the familiar music? A ghostly and completely augmented version of the Donna Summer sung, Giorgio Moroder-produced disco classic, "I Feel Love." And yes, it sounds almost completely different with an ambient and ethereal sheen. “We wanted to go further with the sound on this film and knew of Chris’ renowned passion for music so we asked him what he felt about re-recording, producing and arranging a new working of the track, " said Riccardo Ruini, who developed the concept for the commercial with Cunningham (hear the original by Donna Summers here). The video's found over at /Film.
When will we finally see a feature film from Cunningham? Hopefully sooner than later.