watch miu miu's surreal new short by alice rohrwacher

We talk to the winner of last year's Cannes Grand Prix about her magical short-film for Miu Miu, in which the spring/summer 15 collection comes alive.

by Alice Newell-Hanson
19 February 2015, 5:00pm

Last night, in a maze-like townhouse on New York's east river, Miu Miu unveiled the latest film in its Women's Tales series of female-directed shorts: De Djess, written and directed by Alice Rohrwacher. Rohrwacher, to those who've been paying attention, is the Italian director who won the 2014 Grand Prix at Cannes with her second feature-length film, The Wonders. Her sister, Alba Rohrwacher, who stars in the short, is the tawny-haired actress you might recognize as Tilda Swinton's daughter in I Am Love.

Set in a hotel run by nuns (or are they nurses?), the film features a cast of fainting blond starlets, a pack of paparazzi, and a curious maid. "When Miu Miu approached me about making a short," Rohrwacher told us, "I was at the Hotel Excelsior for the Venice Film Festival, where I was serving on the jury. As I said yes, I looked around me and decided to freeze that moment and make a fairy tale out of the elements I saw. So it was this hotel, the paparazzi, housekeeping, actresses in dresses, and the sea."

Rohrwacher's fairy tale is in turns eerie, glamorous, and campy. There are nods to John Waters' Female Trouble, which influenced parts of Miu Miu's spring/summer 15 collection: Alba's character, a bratty bombshell, goes by Divina. She also utters some of the only English words in a script written largely in an imaginary language: "absolutely tramp!" she screams in a very Waters fashion. "Miu Miu, to me, is about a mixture of humour and horror," said Rohrwacher. "And I share that vision: the world is tremendous but it's also very ironic." Her film, in which a blood-stained and bejewelled dress takes on a mind of its own, holds up a perfect mirror to Miu Miu's subversive vision of beauty.


Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Photography courtesy Miu Miu

Miu Miu
Alice Newell-Hanson
alba rohrwacher
alice rohrwacher