Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Peau d'Ane Fashion Shoot by Carter Smith

This fashion shoot is largely inspired by the 1970 French film, Peau d'Ane, starring Catherine Deneuve. it was shot by fashion photographer, Carter Smith, who in 2006 turned his talents to filmmaking and is the same year this shoot was done.

Carter Smith started as a fashion photographer, moved into directing fashion related commercials then submitted his first short film, Bugcrush to the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, winning the top shorts filmmaking prize. He still works in photography but filmmaking is now his main focus.
This particular fashion shoot clearly shows an interest in telling stories via images, beyond the fashion shoot requirement of making both the clothes and model look beautiful. Though these images are bright and pretty there's still a hint of darkness in them, something which apparently appeals to Carter Smith.
From Bangor Daily News:
Asked what draws him to a project, Smith replied: “It’s usually dark and it’s usually, in some way, mildly unsettling — or extremely unsettling.”
I have no idea if using Peau d'Ane (Donkeyskin) was his idea (as far as I understand usually the design of the shoot isn't the photographer's choice) but it is the type of tale that would appeal to his sensibilities and the lush style of filmmaking of the 1970 film would have meshed well.
While we're on the subject of the film, via a (very substandard) online translation of the French Wikipedia page for the 1970 film Peau d'Ane are these interesting references to other fairy tales used in the film, as well as some cultural references. I'll copy and paste directly so please forgive the weird phrasing among other things:

The film also contains many references:Other tales of Perrault 
  • When Donkey Skin arrives at the farm during his flight, all the characters are like sleeping, frozen in their activity, as in The Sleeping Beauty
  • "Old" hosting Donkey Skin spitting toads, as the eldest in Fairies . It refers to Little Red Riding Hood , addressing the prince; (Edit FTNH: I'm a little lost on the connection between The Fairies and LRRH here)
  • Two farmhands make fun of Donkey Skin in the nicknaming "Cinderwench", as does the elder half-sisters of Cinderella 
  • The "ball of cats and birds," organized by the Red Queen, to host the 
  • Marquis de Carabas , a character appearing in Puss in Boots , but quoted in the story
  • Thibaud said Donkey Skin it is the ugly beast after the wolf .
Other Stories
  • The glass coffin in the film for the deceased mother of the heroine, is a reference to 
  • Snow White and Grimm
  • The mirror of Donkey Skin, who reveals to distance the reaction of his father after his escape, is a reference to the magic mirror of Beauty and the Beast , which can reveal truths through images of distant.
Modern Literature
  • The blue king bed to his daughter, verses written by poets of the future, in a collection which was donated by the Lilac Fairy:
Popular tradition
  • Entitled to a cake recipe of love , a song of the film takes the analogy between the bean of the Twelfth Night cake and the sign of love (ring) left by Donkey Skin in the cake for the prince.
  • The king's beard is red flower, a reference to Charlemagne , "the emperor with the flowing beard"
MusicThe Lilac Fairy, Godmother of Donkey Skin, is the name of the last fairy godmother commuting the fate of the wicked fairy to sleep for one hundred years in the ballet of Tchaikovsky , The Sleeping Beauty .
There are quite a number of historical references too. Makes me wish there was an "annotated version" released of the film with commentaries and mini-documentaries showing all the connections, like I've seen appear recently since Bluray has gotten popular. Maybe this fashion shoot would make it to the extras these days.
Even if I can't have my wish for such a print, it definitely makes me want to see the film again. It also makes me curious about how the current Christophe Gans production of Beauty and the Beast is going to go. Peau d'Ane has definite homages to Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête and I can't imagine a new French fairy tale film not giving at least a subtle nod to the 1946 black and white classic.
A poster I haven't seen before for Pea d'Ane

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