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Rag & Bone’s new short film, “Why We Can’t Get Along,” should come with a warning.
Thanks to Tony Hill, a camera-rig veteran known for experimental techniques, the film takes viewers on a roller-coaster ride, with cameras swinging from pendulums, rolling upside down on moving wheels and tilting at vertigo-inducing angles.
When watched on the big screen, as was the case at Thursday night’s premiere at the Metrograph theater on New York’s Lower East Side, the insane angles are enough to make viewers question the nature of gravity. Or, at the very least, make them a little dizzy.
The short itself sees Ansel Elgort and Kate Mara, both outfitted in matching denim ensembles from Rag & Bone’s spring 2018 collection, in a warehouse surrounded by dancers from American Ballet Theatre and Hiplet. Also making an appearance is charismatic YouTube dancing sensation Kandi Reign, who sadly did not bring her pet duck to the premiere (though it made a cameo in the credits).
“I could try to explain what it’s about, but it probably wouldn’t make any sense,” Rag & Bone creative director Marcus Wainwright explained to the crowd, which included Liev Schreiber and Mara’s longtime friend and stylist, Johnny Wujek.
Choreographed by Benjamin Millepied (Black Swan) and scored by longtime collaborator Thom Yorke of Radiohead, the short pulls the audience into its trance with tangible push-and-pull moments between the expressive two leads as they weave in and out of the dancers.
“I’m big fans of them both,” Wainwright told THR of casting Elgort and Mara. “Ansel is a trained dancer, and he’s also got an incredible sense of humor — he’s a very gregarious and outgoing guy, so we wanted the ability to use that. And Kate obviously has the ability to be beautiful and sweet but also quite dark. So we wanted them to clash. It was about opposites.”
The hypnotic effect of all of the film’s (literally) moving parts makes for a unique backdrop for the brand’s uncharacteristically bright, patterned spring collection, which lands in stores later this month.
Since making the decision to forgo runway presentations last year, Wainwright has been capitalizing on his relationships with the Hollywood scene, recruiting talent like Elgort and Mara, as well as Jerry Seinfeld and Mark Hamill, who were two of a number of celebrities featured in last season’s photo exhibition. (Wainwright also showed his love for Tinseltown with last month’s Star Wars collab.)
The one talent Wainwright has yet to recruit? “Cate Blanchett is pretty high on my list,” he said. “I mean, there’s lots of people I’d like to work with, but there’s certain people that walk on their own path.”