What do you get when you add together Spike Jonze, Jill Garvey from HBO’s “The Leftovers,” Sia’s choregrapher, and multiply it by Sam Spiegel and Ape Drums (featuring Assassin)? One of the more thrilling perfume commercials in recent memory.
Yes, Jonze’s latest directorial effort is technically an ad for Kenzo perfume, but the three-minute “ad” is more music video than anything else, with just one mention of the product ostensibly being hawked, right at the very end.
The video starts with Margaret Qualley, who was a dancer before she was Jill from “The Leftovers,” bored at a gala. (Even French galas are boring, turns out.)
Then Spiegel and Ape Drums’ “Mutant Brain” kicks in, and Qualley shows off her mad dance skills, which run the gamut from hyperstylized robotic movements, to classic ballet-type acrobatics, all the way to full-on gymnastics with a hands-free cartwheel.
The last film Jonze directed was 2013’s “Her,” but he’s been busy of late getting cable channel Viceland off the ground. He serves as the network’s co-president and producer on many of its series, like Ellen Page‘s “Gaycation” and Gloria Steinem’s “WOMAN With Gloria Steinem.”
With the Kenzo spot (if a three-minute video can be called a “spot”), Jonze gets back to his music video roots — from The Beastie Boys to Daft Punk to Björk, you can always count on Jonze to bring his A-game.
Kenzo has worked with film and music luminaries in the past, too. Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein directed a video for the company’s fall and winter fashion lines (featuring Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon), and David Lynch helped design Kenzo’s AW14 show in 2014.
Watch the video above.