In 2010, director Martin Scorsese collaborated with Chanel on a sixty second commercial for the brand’s new Bleu De Chanel cologne line. Titled “THE FILM”, the piece stars French model Gaspard Ulliel as a famous film director besieged by the media during a press conference for his new film, only to experience a reverie into his early days as a struggling young artist when his former muse presents herself to ask him a question.
Kinetic and fast-paced in signature Scorsese fashion, he shoots the press conference scenes in a slick, high-fashion style that’s bathed in a cobalt blue hue (to match the branding of the product, naturally). The flashback scenes are rendered in a mix of different vintage film stocks, suggesting his rise from nothing to the top of his field. The piece is scored “She Said Yeah”, performed by Scorsese’s perennial favorite band The Rolling Stones. The in-story film that our protagonist is promoting is evidently set in New York City, but that’s not the only affectation of Scorsese’s permeating through the piece. His love for midcentury Italian cinema and history is also reflected here, with the story playing a little bit like a modern-day update to Federico Fellini’s 8 ½.
Scorsese may seem like an odd choice to spearhead a commercial shoot for an international fashion juggernaut like Chanel, what with a feature filmography consisting of tough, brutish Italian Americans and explosively unrefined violence. However, Scorsese’s choice in commercial projects has always leaned towards a sense of international glamor, from 2007’s THE KEY TO RESERVA ad for French champagne all the way to his first ad in 1968 for Armani. “THE FILM” continues this tradition with a cinematic flair that plays into Scorsese’s late-career stature as a master filmmaker operating on the world stage.
BLUE DE CHANEL: “THE FILM” is currently available online via the Youtube embed above.