On men, machines and photography
The well-built storytelling of a BMW commercial
We have desperately fallen in love with a commercial for BMW and its masterful storytelling. On the contemporary scene this video represents an astonishing piece of narrative handicraft.
The ability of valorizing a luxury brand such as BMW and blending it with pop culture – in this case tattoos – is definitely rare to find. This is the era of transverse customization where true luxury is the one being sown onto your own skin.
In a Westworldish setting of cyborgs and replicants, with a touch of Refn’s Neon Demon, the video guides the eye of the viewer onto the smallest detail. Details that, just as the strokes of the tattoo artist, changes the perception of reality as well as the human features.
The previously mentioned HBO clones are here combined with perfect prototypes and archetypes of soulless beauty, while the product becomes the silent mentor to bridge the spectator’s feelings to uniqueness.
A muffled Voice Over accompanies the spectator through a dystopian factory, where a show of cinematographic lights illuminate a community of both humans (or supposedly such) and machines, working heads down on their delicate tasks: the assembly of a car and the electronic painting of a body – two different ways of shaping a piece of art with the same control and perfection.
In the commercial, excellence becomes an outlet for modulated aesthetic choices, accelerations and slow motions, creating an irresistible rhythm and multi-speeding beauty.
And now to the cherry on top; the words spoken over the glamorous images that come from a delicate remodeling of Allen Ginsberg’s poem Song (1954), one of the poet’s most beautiful works. So, in addition to this marvelous mixture of Tone of Voice, comes an exceptional choice of gathering words from a completely different context: the one of the Fifties’ Beat Generation poet, an icon of liberty and literary freedom.
The warm bodies
in the darkness,
the hand moves
to the center
of the flesh,
the skin trembles
and the soul comes
joyful to the eye–
be mad or chill
obsessed with angels
I always wanted,
to the body
where I was born.
Sincerely, thumbs up to M&C Saatchi and Utopia Productions.
Though, words apart, it is clear that the most important part of this artistic encounter was the work of the the DOP, who – surprise! – is the (only) 29 year-old Giuseppe Favale. The rapidly ascending career of this Milano-raised talent is truly astonishing, considering his very young age. His contribution to this Saatchi product does not go unnoticed. London, as well as LA, have already laid eyes on Giuseppe, respectively recruiting him for the roasters of LUX and WME. The cinematography in the BMW commercial is extraordinary and modern, an example of bravery that carries the brand message in an absolutely successful way.
Reebok, Fastweb, Eurobet, Valentino, Dove and Zurich Connect are just some of the brands that the young DOP has been called to collaborate with.
Today, it is of vital importance to the Italian industry to raise talented artists, to renew the sometimes rusty local advertising industry, not only from an aesthetic, but also from a poetic point of view. And there is little doubt that this young DOP will serve the industry in a remarkable way.
As the African-American poet Maya Angelou once said,
“Talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it.”
Talent and electricity. In the end, the Saatchi piece, brilliantly possesses both.