Code:Dress by Ale Corsini
Ale (AIessandro) Corsini is a Berlin-based Italian filmmaker and director. Putting at use his academic and professional experience in the advertising, digitaI media and TV production fields, A.C., an eclectic spirit and an obstinate aesthete in his own right, combines an experimental approach to filmmaking with traditional cinematic conventions to produce creations with a flair and… a message.
We were very curious to discover and understand in depth, his creative process making Code:Dress with his vision of fashion movies. Ale, fully accepted our interview invitation as we are glad to share it with you.
Urban design, blue and suspens tones… We noticed an original Berlin spirit in this movie, how did you introduce Fashion to film and Film to fashion?
Fashion film is a newborn and still rather undefined genre, influenced by many other audiovisual languages like advertising, fiction and music videos. As you suggest, the area where we’re experimenting with this fashion film is exactly between fiction- and fashion-film. Basically, the idea was to deconstruct cinematic conventions in a way that would leave behind only a strong visual and emotional impact. Consistently, the film gradually deconstructs its narrative to the point where the sense of it all vanishes, leaving behind only an overall abstract, dream-like feeling.
The movie has a vintage art direction, what are your influences and inspirations?
This fashion film – produced by Valentino Griscioli and me – is to be considered a pilot, the first episode of a series aiming at playfully dealing with Berlin’s architectural heritage and historical relevance to characterize it as one of the world’s most important fashion capitals. It aims at providing a peculiar aesthetic framework to present young and established fashion designers and labels who chose Berlin – the city where I live and work – as the center of their businesses. Which better occasion to talk about Berlin than by symbolically taking it back to the 80’s, a fundamental decade for its history and perfectly embodying its ever-changing nature, its post- modern spirit, as well as its typical, expressly sought-after, vintage, kitsch esthetics?
How did you write the main character role? Is it your general vision of woman?
The character had been floating around in my mind for a while. But honestly, it took its final shape after I got to know Enken Volkens better, working with her on other projects. She’s just as self-ironic, independent, original, eclectic, imaginative, easily bored but keen on adventures, dynamic, in some cases reckless as she appears in the film. And yes, I guess most of these qualities also suit my vision of the modern woman.
I believe every single one of us has a character inside of her/him. If you do identify that character and are actually capable of bringing it out – and that involves directing skills as much as trust and talent on the model’s/actor’s side – you have a great acting performance. The main difference with working with professional actors lies in the flexibility and variety of characters they can impersonate.
Lady looks bored in her room, accompanied by a lizard. Are you exposing a social role of our days? What does the lizard represent?
On a low level, the scene with the lizard symbolizes the main character’s eclectic world and sets the surreal, humorous tone from the beginning. On a higher level, the scene winks at the – nowadays so fashionable – 80’s with their post-modern flair and implicitly hints at the assorted opulence of – sometimes exotic – items that makes up capitalism’s main “selling proposition”.
What are your next projects?
I’m producing several fashion films, a science-fiction short film and began writing a feature film.
Fashion film is more and more produced in fashion industry, how do you visualize its global trends? Do you prefer to have a position in fashion or film industry?
I don’t see fiction and fashion film as mutually exclusive categories. I think chances are both fields will be getting closer to each other in the future. Fashion film can be seen as vanguard cinema. The success of deconstructive approaches to cinema like the ones from Terrence Malick and Lars Von Trier are there to tell us that the audience is also ready for these new cinematic languages. On the other hand, fashion film borrows many conventions from cinema.
My aesthetic approach lies exactly in the grey area between these two. Therefore yes, I’d love to direct a feature film some day, and to bring in it the lessons learned from fashion.