×

Luca Guadagnino Teams With Valentino Designer on Short Film Starring Julianne Moore (EXCLUSIVE)

Luca Guadagnino has teamed up with Italian designer Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of the Valentino fashion house, to make a short movie fusing the aesthetics of film and haute couture and featuring an A-list cast comprising Julianne Moore, Kyle MacLachlan, Marthe Keller, KiKi Layne, Mia Goth and Alba Rohrwacher.

The 35-minute film, portraying different chapters in a woman’s life through the prism of her relationship with her mother, is not a commercial for Valentino, the partners said. Instead, it’s an art movie in which haute couture becomes part of the narrative, Guadagnino said. “The ambition is to play in an important film festival,” said the director of “Call Me by Your Name” and “Suspiria,” with the hope that in some countries it will end up in movie theaters.

Besides an A-list cast, the still-untitled work – which is produced by Italy’s Rai Cinema, Valentino, Ibla Film, and Guadagino’s Frenesy Film shingle – boasts a soundtrack composed by Oscar-winner Ryuichi Sakamoto and a screenplay by Michael Mitnick, whose credits include the TV series “Vinyl” and drama “The Current War.” Guadagnino’s regular cinematographer, Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, shot the short on 35mm film. The producer is Ibla Film’s Eleonora Pratelli.

Rai’s RAI Com sales unit will be selling it internationally.

Guadagnino said the idea was “to use a haute couture collection as though it were a literary text.” Piccioli, who designed the costumes and had a hand in the creative process, said that “each dress is a different story” based on its emotional connection to the dressmaker and that the film has “a stream-of-consciousness aesthetic.”

Moore plays Francesca, an Italian-American writer who lives in New York and must return to Rome – and, by extension, her childhood – to retrieve her aging mother, a painter played at different ages by Keller (“The Romanoffs”) and Goth (“Suspiria”). Layne (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) plays “the spark that triggers the stream of consciousness in Francesca,” said Guadagnino, while Rohrwacher (“Happy as Lazzaro”) plays “a grande dame at a party.”

All the male characters – “fathers, lovers, servants,” Guadagnino noted – are played by MacLachlan (“Twin Peaks”).

“There are multiple narratives that are told simultaneously in the piece,” said Mitnick who added that when Moore’s character returns to her childhood home in Rome to retrieve her aging mother, “we enter and exit various storylines over the course of their entire relationship.” But these stories are “told on top of each other” rather than being flashbacks.

Mitnick said that the stream-of-consciousness style was “a way to capture the feel of memory on film.” He also recalled that before he started writing, Piccioli told him “a beautiful anecdote about how each of the dressmakers named their own dresses after what they reminded them of. And many of them were individual memories that went back to their childhood.”

Guadagnino cited other examples of collaborations between auteurs and fashion designers: Luis Buñuel’s 1967 film “Belle de Jour,” for which Yves Saint-Laurent created an entire wardrobe for Catherine Deneuve’s character, and Takeshi Kitano’s “Dolls,” in which the whole vision of the film was a collaboration with Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto. But Guadagnino said his approach differs in that the story is based on Piccioli’s haute couture collection, which is made up of “magnificent creations that transcend commerce and the consumer aspect of fashion.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • (from left) Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham)

    Korea Box Office: ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ Topples ‘Exit,’ ‘Roar to Victory’  

    Opening on Wednesday, “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” debuted on top of the South Korean box office. Showing on some 1,311 screens nationwide, the UPI release earned $15.1 million from 2.03 million admissions over five days. That included the four-day National Liberation Day weekend. “The Battle: Roar to Victory” remained in second. The [...]

  • Tracy Morgan Netflix stand-up special

    Film News Roundup: Tracy Morgan Joins Eddie Murphy's 'Coming 2 America'

    In today’s film news roundup, Tracy Morgan and Michael Rooker book roles in major movies, and Gravitas buys “Christmas Break-In.” CASTINGS Tracy Morgan has signed on to appear in Eddie Murphy’s “Coming 2 America” sequel as the brother of Lesley Jones’ character. “Hustle & Flow” helmer Craig Brewer is directing the project with Murphy, Kevin [...]

  • Spider-Man Far From Home

    'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Gets Re-Release With New Scene

    Sony Pictures is re-releasing “Spider-Man: Far From Home” with a new action scene. Starting Aug. 29, a new extended cut, featuring four minutes of a never-before-seen action sequence, will be released in theaters in the United States and Canada. The film will also be available in IMAX and large formats in select locations. “Spider-Man: Far [...]

  • Matthew Modine

    Supporters Back Matthew Modine After Clumsy Joke at SAG-AFTRA Meeting

    More than 100 women, including Ellen Barkin and Allison Janney, have voiced support for Matthew Modine’s campaign for SAG-AFTRA presidency, following a joke at a SAG-AFTRA meeting that some decried as misogynist. With voting set to conclude on Aug. 28, the campaigns have featured vitriolic attacks between supporters of Modine, secretary-treasurer Jane Austin and incumbent [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Earns 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award Nominations

    Variety has received 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie award nominations for its coverage of the entertainment industry over the past year. The awards gala, which will take place at The Hilton Midtown in New York City on Oct. 30, celebrates publications that have demonstrated impressive investigative journalism, in addition to thoughtful digital and print design. [...]

  • WGA Agents Packaging Fight Placeholder

    Writers Guild Withdraws State Suit Against Agencies, Refiles in Federal Court

    The Writers Guild of America has withdrawn its state court suit against WME, CAA, UTA and ICM Partners alleging packaging fees are illegal and re-filed suit in federal court. The WGA also responded to antitrust claims brought against the guild by the three agencies. Those agency suits alleged that the WGA abused its power in [...]

  • Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart

    Tim Roth to Receive Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award

    British actor Tim Roth is to receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award in recognition of his “exceptional contribution to the art of film.” The ceremony at the Sarajevo Film Festival will be held on Tuesday. He will hold a masterclass on the same day. His first screen role was the lead in the controversial [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content