Advertising Wes Anderson is the best Wes Anderson amirite!? Just kidding, even though it’s still in vogue to say that Anderson’s feature career has been downhill since Rushmore, I will defend supposed misfires like The Darjeeling Limited to the death. But it might not be hyperbole to say that Wes Anderson is the greatest major feature filmmaker working in the advertising space, and this heart-warming 4 min branded film for H&M is another fine addition to his commercial career.
Starring Adrian Brody as a train conductor, an unexpected delay promises to wreck the holiday plans of all onboard. With a little bit of ingenuity though, and a whole lot of heart, the disparate passengers and crew might be able to save Christmas after all.
From an execution stand-point making a 4min short film is tough, there is basically only space for setup and payoff. Come Together makes efficient use of its runtime by combining the necessary exposition into the opening sequence which establishes the cast of characters. Fine bits of visual design fill in backstory in economic fashion, like the little sign announcing “unaccompanied minor”, and simple lines of dialogue like Brody’s character breaking out of his professional mode to announce, under his breath, that his holiday plans are wrecked too, provide simple, but elegant, character development so that there is a surprising amount of depth for such a short piece.
From brief spots like his famous work for AMEX, to short films like Castello Cavalcanti for Prada, Anderson’s trademark humor and meticulous production design make his work instantly recognizable no matter the format. For such an idiosyncratic stylist, his signature moves: long roving shots over a 2D plane, character movement directly on the z-axis of the frame, and pastel infused vintage sets prove adaptable to a whole manner of stories, and his deftness with big emotional moments prove a natural fit for the maudlin Christmas commercial genre.
Long-form Christmas ads are a burgeoning genre, last year we highlighted 3 animated pieces that were especially strong. Come Together will make this years list for sure, but what are some other contenders so far this year?