The realest real
With social media infiltrating our lives and disintegrating the barriers between what is ordinary and what is celebrity, KENZO Fall-Winter 2016 campaign movie takes a surreal look at the invisible digital walls that separate us from our favorite personalities and icons. Written and directed by Portlandia’s Carrie Brownstein, The Realest Real explores satire in the post-internet age, unfolding in improbable directions and viewed through her unapologetic, polished, yet pedestrian lens.
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How did the creative process of the film’s conception work? What was the exchange?
Carol: I think it first started when Carrie came to Paris to see the men’s show. Then we walked her through the women’s collection so she could have an idea of our fashion concept. From there Carrie interpreted it how she liked; we never wanted it to be prescriptive. We always think about how the campaign can be another way to talk about the collection in a natural way, especially in this film format that we’re really excited about.
How did you arrive at the film’s physical depiction of the digital traits of social media?
Carrie: I guess we started by talking about fandom and the way that fans converge with their idols through screens and technology in this much more complex and multi-faceted way. It is about the idea that you can kind of insert yourself into the narrative of someone’s life, and into your idol’s life, through visuals, through songs etc. To create a cultural dialogue with these subjects. It became about exploring ideas of fantasy and projection, but taking a more absurdist view of that, when fantasy comes slamming into reality. I wanted to explore what could be the end result of idealization pushed too far.
Could you tell us a little about the casting process?
Carrie: We collectively made a list and brainstormed ideas of who we wanted to work with and we were all on the same page. We were really lucky to get Laura Harrier who is right on the verge of launching a huge career. And in terms of Mahershala Ali, we were all big fans of his from House Of Cards. I think we lucked out by having such a wide range of talent and everyone was really game to do the movie, which made being on set so fun.
It’s an exciting crossover, isn’t it? It’s a little taste of cinema for the fashion industry, which is rarely considered when people create fashion content. Carol and Humberto, does The Realest Real feel like a continuation or a departure from the films you’ve made previously?
Carol: I think that each one has been totally different and we really wanted to give each one its own voice. This one is super funny and I feel like it’s more than we could have imagined for a film because there’s something in the way it’s written and the way it’s shot – so beautiful. I don’t know, it covers kind of every nerdy aspect I love about films. It’s one of these things where I’ve watched it, I’ve watched it a couple times and I can imagine watching it so many more times. I want more of it which I feel is a good feeling when you watch a film like this.
And to finish up, may I just ask you all – what does The Realest Real mean to you?
Carrie: I think it’s about idealization born in the imagination that runs into an eventual reality.
Carol: For me I feel like when things are so real you almost question how real is real. And sometimes that real becomes unreal.
Humberto: For real? Yeah. It’s so real that it’s not real.