The Fashion Film Festival held for its second year in La Jolla in July 2011 is the brainchild of Fred Sweet who also owns SD Model Management and is a fashion entrepreneur. He certainly should be given credit for recognizing this new genre of film which is still in the birthing process. There was soft porn without any real eroticism. It appears models don’t mind baring breast for art’s sake. There was narrative in the form of film noire, one line jokes, and even poetry. Sometimes we simply saw the kaleidoscope of images which thrills as a psychedelic color fest. At its lowest, some films were self indulgent and corny, but there were a number of highs.
Although none of the films we viewed were blatantly commercial, product placement was certainly apparent. Costume design in traditional theater and cinema gives credit to fashion designers. And in almost all cinema and TV, product placement is riff, working its insidious way into the plot. The best of these films started with a plot and the worst seemed to be looking for one.
One of my dear friends GB Feld is a film critic in Los Angeles. I always remember his criteria for judging film” Did the film have something to say? Did the film maker say it well? Was it worth saying? Too many of these films used Art to create the lie of fashion desirability as the only subject of the film thus begging the question, was it worth saying.
This was a wonderful opportunity for directors from all over the world to meet and exchange ideas. Hearing some of the speak about the delights of being in La Jolla and getting this attention for their efforts was very heartening.
My top 4 picks from about 40 films:
Move by Dominique Palombo - sheer beauty of movement and rhythm
In Search of Light by Miguel Angel – an artist struggling for his vision and the best use of fashion as a subject equally weighted with the performers.
To the Top by Heidi Hartwig – a model’s revenge
Precious by Monica Menez – pizza as a tool of subversion