Since directing the thought-provoking Her starring Joaquin Phoenix, Spike Jonze has remained quiet, other than another one of his random cameo appearances in The Wolf of Wall Street and directing that Kanye West music video for “Only One.” But that was then, and he’s back with a feverish bang in the form of a perfume commercial.
Fashion brand KENZO has been teasing some sort of marketing debut for KENZO World, a new fragrance created by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon. But what they delivered was completely unexpected. Margaret Qualley of HBO’s The Leftovers is the face of this perfume, and she helps kick things (quite literally) into high gear with the ad Jonze directed.
The ad was choreographed by Ryan Heffington and is set to music featuring Assassin by Sam Spiegel and Ape Drums called “Mutant Brain.” (Catch the track sans ad on Spotify.) Attending some sort of gala dinner event at what looks like New York City’s Lincoln Center, Qualley steps out from the hall to take a breath and shed one tear. But when the music plays, the beat consumes her as she slays a frenzied, modern dance routine involving lasers shooting from her fingers, a brief ballet break, and superhero leap through a giant, colorful, hovering eye.
Watch the craziness below:
Jonze directed a number of commercials in the past, including ones for Adidas, Sprite, and Gap. He’s also not the first notable filmmaker with a history of marketing: David Fincher for Apple, Wes Anderson for Stella and American Express, David Lynch for PS2, Darren Aronofsky for Yves Saint Laurent, and Joe Wright for Chanel rank among the most notable. But this will go down as perhaps the most unexpectedly off-the-rails of them all.
Check out Qualley in the poster for the perfume below, as well as a behind-the-scenes shot.
— KENZO (@kenzo) August 29, 2016