an exclusive look at kenzo's new short film

Watch the first in a series of three new films to celebrate Kenzo's autumn/winter 17 collection. This is anything but your usual fashion film.

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06 November 2017, 12:36pm

To introduce their autumn/winter 17 collection, Kenzo collaborated with three young filmmakers –– Mati Diop, Baptist Penetticobra and Eduardo Williams –– whose work connects with the planet and a concern for its fragility. These experimental films serve as a way to remember and reconnect with the importance of the world around us.

As we launch the first film in the series, we asked Argentinian director Eduardo Williams five questions about his strange and beautiful short film, Tzzd. And stay tuned for the second in the series, premiering exclusively on i-D.


In recent projects, Kenzo have worked with the likes of Gregg Araki, Sean Baker, Carrie Brownstein and Kahlil Joseph on award winning shorts. How did you react when you received the call from Kenzo and what was your starting point for your own submission?
I think it's always exciting for me to receive a proposal to work in the way I like. I felt it was a new challenge, because I'd never made a short of this type before. That made me nervous in a new way, which I liked and was afraid of. I'm never able to start from one point, so I started looking for different ideas that were in my head like a misty cloud made of many small points. These included places I had been to and found interesting for different reasons, as well as people I saw on the internet or in person and different possible connections between them. Afterwards I had to work on them to think which ones adapted better to this project, its possibilities and restrictions, and how they could work between them.

If viewers take one thing away from the film, what would you like it to be and why?
I'm quite bad myself in taking just one thing from films, or in knowing exactly what did I take. If I have to think about something more specific, I think about unexpected connections and the coexistence of different possibilities. I don't expect viewers to think in those words, but I believe that it can get to them through the short.

Your short is anything but a typical fashion film. What are your thoughts on fashion and filmmaking colliding, what makes a good fashion short?
I think I've never watched a fashion film yet. In my experience it can be an interesting collision. When I did my films before, clothes where an important part of them. I liked to choose different clothes from the actors' own wardrobe. In this case I had different options to choose as soon as I started thinking about the ideas. Looking at the collection put me in a mood and in a certain type of creative space that was influencing the ideas that came out from my head. I think that's interesting, when fashion is creative and triggers different ways of imagining and feeling shapes, colours and characters, which are very important issues when working in non-fashion films also.

The question I had in my head when doing this short was what's the best fashion short I could do? Then whether it's good or not I suppose will depend on the viewers, as always. It's very difficult for me to say what makes a good film in a general way because it changes in every film.

What's the best thing -- and worst -- about being a young filmmaker in 2017? A
The best is being able to think and imagine through sound and image, not so much through words exclusively, and then being able to get that out of your head and make it pass through lots of different people that change it in different ways. I suppose that's not specific about 2017. The worst is looking for money. Especially because most of the systems through which you can get funding are based on your talent to tell a story in words, which is very different than telling a story in the language of cinema, and these two talents are not necessarily related.

Finally, what excites you most about tomorrow, 2018 and beyond?
Thinking that I'll be able to put my ideas down in some way that makes them shareable with someone who might be interested in financing my next film. In 2018 I'll be meeting many new people while shooting a film in places I've never been to, and hoping I'll be more capable of going further with my ideas and in being more open to others' ideas.

This article has been updated to include the second film in the series,
originally launched on i-D US.

Watch a mesmerising film about orange juice, directed by Baptist Penetticobra and commissioned by Kenzo, to celebrate its fall/winter 17 collection.

As creative directors of Kenzo, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have consistently stepped outside the fashion sphere and collaborated with fearless directors like Kahlil Joseph, Carrie Brownstein, and Sean Baker to create short films that feel more like arthouse movies than your standard fashion film. The duo continues its creative legacy by introducing Kenzo's fall/winter 17 collection with three new films, in a boundary-pushing series titled "Season Zero." The experimental pieces come from a trio of young filmmakers -- Mati Diop, Baptist Penetticobra, and Eduardo Williams -- whose work connects with the planet and a concern for its fragility. These experimental films serve as a way to remember and reconnect with the importance of the world around us.

Baptist Peneticobra's Untitled (Juice) features spoken word about a world overflowing with orange juice. The metaphor twists and turns as a man and woman imagine an alternative world filled with glee, harmony and palm trees watered with OJ. The film is a continuation of the up-and-coming director's creative preoccupation: filming poets of colour performing spoken word against simple black backdrops. This time, though, the actors wear pleated monochrome turtlenecks. Watch the film below, premiering exclusively on i-D, and read on as Baptist discusses what goes into making a truly unique fashion film.

Kenzo has previously worked with the likes of Gregg Araki, Sean Baker, Carrie Brownstein, and Kahlil Joseph on award-winning shorts. How did you react when you received the call from Kenzo, and what was your starting point for your own project?
It was surprising. I had never worked in fashion before so I was kind of perplexed -- maybe I still am. The starting point was an actress, Karmesha Clark, who I met in early July in Michigan. I was doing auditions for another film and she drove from Detroit to this small town along the Lake Michigan coast to meet us. I was starting to write Untitled (Juice) at that time and everything suddenly seemed to fall into place. It was kind of love at first sight and we were really excited to meet again in Paris.

If viewers take one thing away from the film, what would you like it to be and why?
Probably the actors: who they are, how they speak, and how they move. I'm usually fascinated by the actors first, and then try to build some film in which they can live. In Untitled (Juice), there's nothing much around them anyway, so it's all about their bodies and their voices. That's what I wanted, to spend a moment with them. But I'm pretty happy when people take away other things as well.

Your short is anything but a typical fashion film. What are your thoughts on fashion and filmmaking colliding? What makes a good fashion short?
A good fashion short is one that stays away from any commercial aspect and as far as possible from the look or perspective of an "advertisement." A good film is not supposed to sell anything. That is why this Season Zero was an interesting proposition. I was completely free to do whatever I wanted, and I jumped right into it by writing a film about the most random thing.

What's the best thing about being a young filmmaker in 2017? And the worst?
Video is a relatively new medium and that it's very flexible, compared to other forms of art. It probably allows more exploration and experimentation, meaning that there are still completely new things to try and find. The three-minute film format, for instance, was a really challenging form: songs usually run for three minutes, not films -- so I started writing this film as if it were some sort of track. And the result is this hybrid thing that only video allows. The worst thing is that film is all about dealing with "loss", as it's an extremely long process, and not a direct one. You basically hate what you did when it's done.

Watch our exclusive US premiere of "Untitled (Juice)" directed by Baptist Peneticobra below. You'll be able to watch the third and final film in Kenzo's "Season Zero" series on the brand's website tomorrow.