KENZO dares us to put our money where our mouths are in a cautionary film about celebrity worship
BY OBI ANYANWU
Justin Bieber photos, Lady Gaga tweets and other celebrity social media posts are often followed with comments such as “mom”, “daddy”, and at times “marry me”. Even lesser celebs and popular social media people fall victim to salacious, unimaginable tweets that beg for attention as much as it can induce sophomoric laughter and genuine horror. Can we be certain that fans of Bieber and Gaga really want the pop stars to be their parents or guardians, or that they are on bended knee proposing marriage in tweet form? The Realest Real, the Fall 2016 film from Kenzo doesn’t ask fans if they are serious about their comments on celebrities’ social media posts, but it is a surreal and humorous cautionary tale.
Directed by Portlandia co-star, co-creator and writer Carrie Brownstein, The Realest Real stars Laura Harrier as ‘Abby’, who is not exactly fortunate to meet with The Minister of The Institute of the Real and the Really Real played by Moonlight and House of Cards actor Mahershala Ali.
In the meeting, The Minister shows Abby stacks of papers containing every email, text, tweet and comment she has ever sent. He pulls out a sheet with a comment Abby made about Orange is the New Black actress Natasha Lyonne that simply read “mom”, before giving her the opportunity to have Lyonne be her mother. Abby happily obliges and what she receives is far worse than what she thought she wanted.
The Realest Real indirectly asks the viewer to steer clear of celebrity worship and “followers” and to understand that the grass isn’t always greener. With shows like Black Mirror painting a scary depiction of digital life and our obsession with technology, Brownstein makes light of social media and Internet interaction, and she hits the nail on the head.
Brownstein and Kenzo Creative Directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon sidestepped dark comedy with this sharp short film that is sure to make the viewer ask questions about their own social media use. Just think, what if Lady Gaga really became your mother after you replies “mom”to one of her tweets? If the film is any indication, maybe it’s best to not find out.
Creative Direction | Framework
Writer & Director | Carrie Brownstein
Director of Photography | Shawn Kim
Photographer | Mark Peckmezian
Models | Laura Harrier, Mahershala Ali, & Natasha Lyonne
Production | Ways & Means
Executive Producers | Lana Kim & Jett Steiger
Producer | Lawrence T. Lewis
Stylist | Shirley Kurata
Production Designer | Eric Archer
Casting | Framework & Davis/Baddeley
Editor & VFX | Ali Greer
Hair | Mara Roszak
Makeup | Lottie