Art has always played a major role in Miuccia Prada's work, whether it's through Baroque-inspired sunglasses, collage-style ad campaigns (sometimes featuring up to 27 models) or being the subject of a Costume Institute exhibit. Her latest endeavor, which debuts worldwide on Thursday, takes on the silent film with "Past Forward," directed by Academy Award nominee David O. Russell ("American Hustle," "Silver Linings Playbook" and "The Fighter") and starring a bevy of familiar faces, including John Krasinski, Jack Huston, Sinqua Walls, Paula Patton, Connie Britton and Sacha Baron Cohen.
The short film was partially screened during Prada's spring 2017 multi-platform fashion show in September, which had Dhani wondering whether she was hallucinating or not. Mainly because it featured Allison Williams in a blonde wig, but also due to the array of disjointed clips that served more as a distraction than a complement to the clothes on the runway.
Now that "Past Forward" is available in full, the narrative is fairly easy to follow — aside from a few avant-garde clips included in the mix (like a dance scene), a sorta-scary bit that involves doctors and a live portrayal of René Magritte's 1928 painting "The Lovers II."
"Past Forward" follows actresses Williams, Freida Pinto and Kuoth Wiel in three hazy reenactments of the same exact situation — "a complex collage," describes the film's press release. There's suspense, a bit of sci-fi, romance, fighting, tears, some thrills, a beach scene and more. Russell and Prada certainly covered all of the cinematic bases.
It's a choppy hodgepodge of scenes, but perhaps that's the appeal. Though everything is repetitive, it's interesting to see each of the leading ladies' distinct performances, whether it's a slightly different expression, gesture or placement on screen. "The viewer is left to decode what is experience, what is memory, what is dream and discern the overlap and differences between them," says the release.
"Here was the opportunity to make a journey guided by layers of movie memories, life images and emotions, with no aim except to create art — as if it were a painting or a sculpture — free from normal narrative or audience expectations," notes Russell in an official statement. "The cast and I worked simply for the joy of making art."
For what it's worth, the "Past Forward" isn't a waste of 15 minutes. Though we must warn you: there's not much of Prada's spring 2017 collection to admire in this fashion film. However, there are some sweet dance moves from Krasinski to enjoy.
Visit prada.com to watch "Past Forward" and browse the gallery below for behind-the-scenes photos.