So bad/ridiculous/over the top it’s good is a phrase you’ll often hear thrown around to describe features, but it’s not a term I can recall applying to shorts. Perhaps there’s something in the brevity of a short film that if it initially strikes you as ‘off’ it simply doesn’t have the running time required to pull you through the barrier of negative first impressions to the land of appreciation. Well, I feel that music promo director Kris Moyes got me past any initial reservations to a place of acceptance and enjoyment, with his knowing send up of the fashion world, City Limits.
Drafted in by Sydney based fashion label Romance Was Born to create a film featuring their Autumn Winter 2010 range ‘Nightmare on Wall Street’, and given a massively open brief after working with them on two previous music promos, Moyes and co-writer Ben North concocted the story of:
A smart, hot, rich tyrant named Katherine Bowden who goes on a killing spree of sweet revenge once she hears that her egg headed financial adviser has drained all her savings. She’s a killer and she’s cooler than the other side of the pillow.—Campaign Brief
Katherine Bowden is indeed a cool lady and a part that Croatian model Tanja G—who was suggested to Moyes by Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett of Romance Was Born—nails with her strangely affected delivery and haughty demeanour.
As of late, with the seemingly weekly advances in video capabilities of DSLRs, I’ve been finding myself drawn to fashion films as more and more photographers try their hands at motion. But as much as I enjoy the video portraits and experimental video art escaping from fashion shoot sets, there’s something to be said about giving such a po-faced industry a Nathan Barley-style poke in the eye, and seemingly having fun whilst doing it. Moyes may not be penning the witty machine gun dialogue of His Girl Friday here, but as preposterous as they may seem on the surface, I have a worrying feeling that lines such as, “I hate it when you get granular. Give it to me like a Monet painting” have actually been uttered irony free in the real world, which adds to their comic value. I also enjoyed the post massacre staging of beautiful bedecked bodies, which could easily be a double page spread in any glossy, more-ad-than-content magazine.
The fact that Romance Was Born were more than happy to commission this film absent as it is of any overt advertising endears me to them. Although I’m not sure I could pull off any of their clothes. Perhaps I’ll try the next time I’m playing deep house?