Commentary

Depp And Dior, Deconstructed

Alright, no time for a beat-around-the-bush/mock-own-hair-and-obliviousness-and-inability-to-match-socks intro here today. There’s another hautecouture brand video and, like the ones that came before, it plays like a combination of a Saturday Night Live parody and an overfunded student film. How does this keep happening? Who’s paying for this crap? To answer these and other pressing questions upon which the fate of western civilization hinges, let’s take a time-stamp-happy look at “Dior Sauvage - The New Fragrance (Official Director’s Cut).”

0:03: Oooh, snarly guitar and an L.A. nightscape! Finally Hollywood has gotten around to rebooting Lethal Weapon, and not a moment too soon. I wonder if we’ve forgiven Mel Gibson enough for him to claim the cameo that’s rightfully his.

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0:08: No, wait, it’s Johnny Depp - and get this, he looks like he hasn’t showered since the California drought restrictions kicked in. He isn’t playing the guitar so much as he’s performing an elaborate impression of somebody who knows how to play the guitar over-playing it for visual effect. Nice.

0:09: We have our first super-unique creative choice: A from-above shot of Los Angeles streets, not unlike the 8,000 or 9,000 or so that gave True Detective 2: Happytime Jubilee its feather-light tone. No, seriously, filmmakers - don’t cut back on the helicopter-shot traffic-footage fetishism. It beats a blinking FILM NOIR! FILM NOIR! chyron in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.

0:12: What’s more bitchin’ than a bitchin’ guitar riff? An upside-down bitchin’ guitar riff, that’s what. We’re 12 seconds into this thing and I’m already hoping the auteur accidentally liquid-cements the camera onto the floor for the rest of the time we have together.

0:14: Power chords, slide, key of E. I can’t tell if Johnny/his musical stand-in tuned down the sixth string to D and then played the riff on the 7th, 5th and 2nd frets, or if he tuned the fifth and fourth strings to B and E, respectively, and played it on the 5th and 3rd frets before slamming the open E/B/E. I’m all about that bass… string.

0:16: Now we’re driving and now we’re narrating: “I gotta get out of here.” One would assume that the transition to an automotive setting renders such commentary moot, but here we are.

0:23: I’m calling it now: The credits of this video will list a “sideburn shaper.”

0:25: Suddenly it’s daytime and we’re in Industrytown, CA. Check out the heavy machinery - that’s some serious constructo-fracking gear, bro. Scene, consider thyself set.

0:29: No, cancel that. We’re in the desert now. Dialogue: “I don’t know.” This rings true.

0:34: Of course there’s a buffalo in the road. Why wouldn’t there be? Buffaloes are an indigenous desert species, like Eskimos.

0:36: Johnny speeds up, the four buffaloes of the apocalypse hot on his trail. One senses that Johnny would no sooner smile than play guitar in an open-B tuning.

0:38: Off-roadin’, cloud of dust, etc. The video does not make it clear whether the buffalo forced Johnny off the highway or whether they wandered off in search of a light snack. Two demerits for the unexplained plot hole.

0:40: More portentous animals of imminent peril and nuisance! Run!

0:41: Cancel the emergency. Johnny’s got a shovel in the trunk. Who’s the hunter NOW, Mr. Bird of Prey?

0:43: More dialogue: “What am I looking for?” I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that this video is designed to market/brand a men’s fragrance.

0:48: A wolf-dog guards Johnny’s car from the roof as he ventures off in search of shovel-related whimsy. Celebrities: They’re just like us.

0:51: Why so dour, Johnny? You’re digging a hole with a shovel. It would be a bold artistic choice but I’m going to propose it anyway: Instead of setting Johnny’s hole-digging to some thrown-off blues riffs, why not have him burst into a jaunty song-and-dance routine? “I’m diggin’ a hole with my shovel/Just diggin’ a hole with my shovel/My shovel here is a shovel/A shovel I love so well. Hey!” Really, would that make any less sense than anything else in this video? Note to self: Find out if buffaloes can be trained to sway along with music.

0:55: Into the hole dug with his magical shovel, Johnny throws his necklace and bracelets. The fate of his sunglasses remains unclear. Dialogue: “Something I can’t see.”

0:58: Johnny reflects at the grave of his baubles. They were good baubles, noble baubles. They provided company and compassion. It was their time. Sleep well, sweet wrist-things.

1:00: “I can feel it.” Day suddenly bleeds into night. Time is a flat circle. Forget it, Jake, it’s Buffalo Desert Town.

1:05: “It’s magic.” Johnny may or may not be referring to the mess of eyeliner that appears to have been reapplied somewhere between his sexy shoveltime and the jewelry funeral.

1:07: Fade from Johnny’s melting face into the Sauvage logo, then the Sauvage bottle.

Epilogue: The great Ry Cooder provided the music? The great-if-you-dig-his-very-specific-aesthetic Jean-Baptiste Mondino directed this? I can’t say I blame them; if somebody threw a big pile of money at me and said to do whatever I want with it, I’d go off the artistic rails as well. Would there be fart jokes? Oh, there would, comrade. There sure would.

1 comment about "Depp And Dior, Deconstructed".
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  1. Kathryn Gorges from Essentials 3, September 16, 2015 at 3:10 a.m.

    Almost as bad as Brad Pitt's Chanel ad video - ugh!

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