Monday, February 17, 2014

Longines DolceVita

Gloria Perkins the sexy American actress (played by Dorothy De Poliolo) is back. If you recall she lured Sandro (Gabriel Ferzetti) away from Claudia (Monica Vitti) in Antonioni’s L’Avventura. Wherever Gloria goes she causes rioting by horny Italian men and if you follow Longines DolceVita campaign (in which Kate Winslet appears, along with Bollywood’s Aiswarya Rai) her persona is attracting a gaggle of paparazzi too. Yes it’s actually Fellini’s La Dolce Vita that the sequence is alluding to, but the memory of the scenes Gloria created is also at work. Advertising can be extremely irritating, especially the kind that you see mixed in with previews at your local quadruplex. But it’s comforting to know that scenes from great Italian classics, like L’Avventura and La Dolce Vita still reside in the collective memory of the culture, if only to sell a watch or bottle of perfume. Another recent commercial for Louis Vuitton, for instance, featured a masked ball that recalled  Eyes Wide Shut. Commercials and music videos require a very high level of film artistry—since they have to communicate a good deal of information in a very short period of time. The juxtaposition between a memory and a product is often an example of simple filmic montage, executed with the high production values that commercials require. However, what's next? Will a scene from Bergman’s Cries and Whispers appear as a plug for Obamacare?  Will Fellini’s circus characters from 8 ½ be used to advertise Six Flags? Commerce and art can often sometimes be strange, but effective bedfellows.

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