Oh Wes Anderson, I love you with all my quirky, sepia-toned heart…
When word first got out of yet another Prada-Anderson collaboration, all sorts of strange cinephile-fashion fantasies filled my head. But Anderson’s latest short film, “Castello Cavalcanti,” veered closer to the side of art provocation than the candy colored sweetness of his Prada perfume collaboration of 2013.
The year is 1950-something. Jason Schwartzman is a race car driver who crashes into a small, trapped-in-time italian town. Nonsensical conversation with a group of (adorable) old men ensues with all the Anderson ingredients: a lot of panning, Futura Font, meticulous color palette, and of course a perfectly tied together ending of finding one’s own reality and in the process, coming to terms with what really matters in life).
The film itself is a quaint vignette into a world seen through Wes-colored glasses. But where’s the Prada? The film felt more Fellini tribute than fashion brand mogul advert. I had to watch the commercial three times (before resorting to a google search) to discover that the only time “Prada” appears in the film, is during the opening credits, and on ever so discreetly on the back of Schwartzman’s racing suit.
In an industry of logos, the brand’s decision to retreat behind the curtain of Anderson’s movie stage is a brilliant marketing move. Releasing the ad just after a viral flood of news and trailer clips for Anderson’s upcoming Budapest Hotel, could not have been better timing. A very thought out timing on Prada’s part: Quenching the thirst of this cult-director’s fan base is a brilliantly subtle way to spread an advertisement in the fastest warp-speed internet fashion possible.