Monday, January 26, 2009

Your Skin Against My Skin, starring Michael Pitt, directed by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

In celebration of Creative Director Stefano Pilati’s AW 09-10 Homme collection for Yves Saint Laurent, the iconic French fashion house has released a short film created by photographers Inez can Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin.

The film stars actor and musician Michael Pitt who is best known for his roles in films such as Last Days, Bully and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

The film, shot in black and white, pays homage to the Yves Saint Laurent AW collection in a tender exchange between Pitt and an unseen woman. The frame is filled with Pitt’s face, and focuses on his reactions to the softly spoken words of the invisible woman. She speaks lovingly about clothing as Pitt looks on in silent reverence at a spectacle that is entirely hidden from the audience. The physical absence of this enigmatic woman causes the imagination to run wild, as it is easy to imagine her behind the lens, slowly undressing herself to the speechless wonder of Pitt.

The cameraman for Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin's film, Your Skin Against My Skin, was Harris Savides, who usually works with Gus Van Sant.

Your Skin Against My Skin reminds me of a short film directed by Andy Warhol. Filmed in January 1964, the 35-minute film was shot with a 16-millimetre Bolex silent camera on black-and-white film. It depicts the face of an anonymous young man (DeVeren Bookwalter) as he receives relations from an off-screen partner, widely reported to be avant-garde filmmaker Willard Maas.

While shot at 24 fps, Warhol specified that it should be projected at 16 fps, slowing it down by a third.

Despite the explicit subject matter, the camera shows only the expression on the young man's face. The act itself is not seen. It is unknown whether it is a male or a female performing the act, and it is unseen, therefore the viewer must simply take it at face value that relations are indeed occurring.

No comments: