Jim Jarmusch has been keeping quiet and staying out of the spotlight during these past months of quarantine, having left us with his most recent film The Dead Don’t Die in 2019. While news of another feature has yet to arrive, yesterday brought the next best thing, in the form of a new experimental short from the inimitable writer and director.
Jarmusch has joined forces with luxury brand Saint Laurent for French Water, a nine-minute project which doubles as a showcase for the Spring/Summer 2021 collection from the historic French fashion house. In it, a handful of celebrities from within and without the Jarmusch stable make their way around a haunting yet ethereal complex, searching for one another and overlapping with themselves.
Chloë Sevigny (who appeared in The Dead Don’t Die as a small-town cop) and Julianne Moore wander around, looking for their friend Charlotte Gainsbourg; Indya Moore (the breakout star of Pose), in turn, looks for the two of them. Everyone converges near the end, donning what we can only presume are extremely pricy designer facemasks.
A waiter (portrayed by a suave-looking Leo Reilly, son of John C.) observes their comings and goings with a haughty detachment. It’s all quite French, a quality that short itself reflexively pokes fun at.
Aesthetically, however, it’s an avant-garde composition the likes of which we haven’t seen from Jarmusch in a minute, more liberated in its style than most commercial, theatrical releases can allow. The rich purples flooding the cavernous chambers, the impossibly sleek surfaces, and tricks with circular patterning all suggest an artist loosening up and playing around.
Published 15 Apr 2021
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