For whatever reason, fashion—Gucci, in particular—is on the mind of a handful of film’s biggest creators. Academy members Gus Van Sant, Ridley Scott and Lady Gaga, among others, are all involved in projects centered around the Italian luxury brand. And we can’t say we’re surprised—we know Gucci has good taste: Academy member Tom Ford led the company as creative director for a decade before starting his own fashion line, and has since crafted exquisite dramas like A Single Man and Nocturnal Animals.
Gus Van Sant’s “Ouverture of Something That Never Ended”
We thought we knew all there is to know about the fall festival season, but, this year, we may have missed something. Running from November 16-22 online, the inaugural GucciFest offered up (why yes, of course) new fashion. But the designer pieces didn’t debut on runways during GucciFest; rather, in a seven-part narrative short film series directed by two-time Oscar nominee Gus Van Sant.
Throughout the wandering Ouverture of Something That Never Ended series, the protagonist saunters across Rome and directs our attention to exceptionally well-dressed people (all in Gucci, no surprise), some of whom happen to be pop culture titans like Harry Styles and Billie Eilish. See “Episode 3 - At the Post Office” for a scene in which Styles flaunts his jorts while chatting on the phone in a garden. Or “Episode 5 - The Neighbours” for one featuring Eilish in Gucci sweats, hanging out with two robot dogs who can’t stop dancing to one of her songs.
The festival is part of Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele’s mission to move away from fashion’s “worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows.” Folding in filmmakers like Van Sant and talent like Styles and Eilish feels like a bold beginning to that evolution, and draws in eyes—like our own—that otherwise wouldn’t likely see Gucci’s latest.
That being said, we are well aware of Van Sant’s short film work. The Academy Film Archive holds a growing collection of Gus Van Sant items, including eight of his experimental shorts from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. We also see more of Harry Styles and Billie Eilish in our movie future: Styles is the lead in Olivia Wilde’s currently-shooting psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling; Eilish writes and performs the theme for No Time to Die.
Ridley Scott’s “Gucci”
Drawn to a whole other side of the Gucci world are names like Lady Gaga, Adam Driver and Jared Leto. Along with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, they are set to begin shooting Gucci this March in Italy, and four-time Oscar nominee Ridley Scott will direct and produce.
The fashion feature will spotlight the 1995 murder of company chairman Maurizio Gucci. Lady Gaga—or, to pay homage to her proud Italian roots, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta—stars as Patrizia Reggiani, the ex-wife convicted of orchestrating Gucci’s death and paying for the hitman who killed him. Maurizio and Patrizia had a messy 12-year marriage in the ‘70s and ‘80s, one that ended after Maurizio left his wife for a younger woman. Patrizia maintains her innocence, but the saga is all the same ripe for dramatic adaptation: wealth, infidelity, blackmail, murder … and there’s even a significant storyline involving her personal psychic.
The drama has been slated for a November 2021 release by MGM / United Artists.
Header image from Gus Van Sant’s Ouverture of Something That Never Ended