David O Russell does a loving pastiche to Hitchcock in this film for Prada called Past Forward. Russell was given free range by Miuccia Prada and the result is arguably one of his best.
I love how it begins with the iconic music scored by Bernard Herrmann from North By Northwest and then leads us on a suspenseful journey featuring three women (all in the same role, in a way) who are being chased. There's also a guy without a mouth who wants to do surgery them. It gets very subconscious, almost surreal but in the classic sense of the word, like something out of an Andre Breton novel.
As with all Fashion Films the story isn't as important as the concept and this is more than homage. It's a fun journey.
Also the women (Allison Williams, Freida Pinto and Kuoth Wiel) are beautiful but not in a clichéd way. Because the three women playing the same part are are all different races, one can read a commentary on identity in general, although as with all good art, this is open to interpretation asking questions, answering none. I certainly felt one way when watching Kuoth Wiel in the role, especially in what feels like the past, and yet I also think that's too simplistic an interpretation as one could read it as a comment on women in general regardless of race, or our identities, or none of the above. My interpretation isn't the dissimilarities but what makes them all similar: their emotions. We see them all played out, from fear, to comfort, love to happiness. Conceptually this would make a good deal of sense as it is also suggesting it doesn't matter who you are, you're going to look fabulous in Prada.
And as much as this is a Hitchcock pastiche, Russell does a great job of making the clothing collection look good, too. Incidentally, Sasha Baron Cohen, Connie Britton, John Krasinski, and Paula Patton also star.
Unlike Russell's other work, this one is silent, so I didn't feel drained at the end from people shouting at each other for two hours like I did after watching American Hustle.
This is definitely not David O. Russell's first spot. He also did some appropriately weird and funny ones for Hillshire Farms, believe it or not, starring Wendy McLendon-Covey.
Written and directed by David O. Russell
Produced by Anonymous Content and Hi! Production
Sacha Baron Cohen
Producer Ayelet Weinerman
Executive Producer Max Brun
Line Producer Shea Kammer
Director of Photography Darren Lew
Production Designer Maxwell Orgell
Editor Christopher Gay, ACE
Costume Styling Nancy Collini
Casting Directors Mary Vernieu and Lindsay Graham
Creative Consultant Michael Rock
Special Thanks to Verde Visconti
Associate Producer Sarena Cohen
Music Supervisors Susan Jacobs and Jacqyelyn Mulhearn
Choreography Mandy Moore