Dresses run ashore like survivors from a shipwreck. A nun spots them from afar and they’re quickly scooped up, laid to dry, and find a new life as celebrities in an unnamed local hotel run by the entrepreneurial nuns. A herd of paparazzi stampede the lobby with their invasive zoom lenses. But something’s not quite right. The story they want isn’t the story they’re about to be given. That story belongs to a very special dress and she’s going to tell it exactly her way.
De Djess is directed by Alice Rohrwacher. It’s the ninth commission from Miu Miu Women’s Tales, the acclaimed short-film series by women who critically celebrate femininity in the 21st century.
This latest addition to Women’s Tales evokes the surreal world of ordinariness and exceptions that Rohrwacher has conjured in her two acclaimed feature films, Corpo Celeste (2011) and the Cannes Grand Prix (2014) winning The Wonders, which has been described as, “an ensemble drama about Italy’s evaporating peasant culture, rooted in rural wisdom”.
“I want in my films to pose questions,” Rohrwacher admits, “not to offer answers.”
De Djess is full of questions, posed in a fictional language that we can all still miraculously understand. Why are the blond women fainting? Why is the famous actress (played by the director’s sister and regular lead, Alba Rohrwacher) so upset? And why do all the cameras suddenly run out of power at exactly the same time?
This new short adds another tender tonality to the Miu Miu Women’s Tales series: a mirrored world where objects choose owners instead of the other way around.
Rohrwacher explains, “I felt it was right to give the lead role to a dress, and put myself inside”. The Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2015 collection finds its expression most articulatedly in dress “Number 328”, which literally has a life of its own, and a taste for women’s beauty that is less obvious and more ingenious. Dress 328 sees something in the lowly waitress girl (played by Yanet Mojica). It’s as if the glass slipper from Cinderella could speak. Everyone would listen.
Photos by Brigitte Lacombe