Kidman and Luhrmann. Tautou and Jeunet.
Sometimes the combination of an actress and a director works magically across a number of films, but now these pairs have another thing in common – they have all played a part in the creation of extravagant Chanel No. 5 advertisements.
The latest Chanel advertisement, directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet, features Audrey Tautou in a fateful love story on board the Orient Express between Paris and Istanbul.
It is the third time the two have worked together, after Amelie and A Very Long Engagement. For Jeunet, Tautou was an obvious choice.
“It was clear we’d need an extremely expressive actress for the short shots,” he said.
The two and a half minute commercial is shot in true Jeunet style – sweeping pans from interesting angles, close ups of expression, lingering looks and plenty of whimsical symbolism, including the repetition of the number 5.
Likewise, Baz Luhrmann’s 2004 effort starring Nicole Kidman was a highly theatrical piece and loosely referenced Moulin Rouge with its star/bohemian-nobody love story and rooftop scenes.
For Luhrmann, the opportunity was to create “a two minute trailer of an epic motion picture that has never been made. A mini-movie.”
Jeunet agreed. “This is much more than an ad,” he said. “It’s like a patronage; a short movie financed by Chanel.”
“I had total freedom on the script, and was given their complete trust.”
The close relationship of director and actresses fostered through previous feature films is exactly what is needed and expressed in these intimate and detailed commercials.
“Recreating with pictures the emotions induced by a scent was an interesting challenge,” said Jeunet, but that the film gave him “the chance to go into the minutest detail and make something accomplished and highly polished.”
Tautou will fittingly be starring as Coco Chanel in Coco Avant Chanel due for release in late June.
The Chanel No.5 “films” can be viewed here: