Stella McCartney’s “Black Park” Plays Tricks with Time and Memory for Fall 2017


For her first ever Fall men’s campaign Stella McCartney released a rather eerie short film titled Black Park showcasing the collection, while playing tricks with the concepts of time and memory. The film stars acclaimed actor Cillian Murphy as a man wandering through the English woodlands, which provide a gorgeous yet tense and overwhelming backdrop for this deeply atmospheric film. Direction is handled by Sean Ellis, who has previously worked with Murphy on the film Anthropoid and brings a deft hand in the arts of symbolism and cinematic imagery and mood. The soundtrack is provided by Stella’s father Paul McCartney, who crafts something much more avant-garde than what you might expect from the popular music legend.

The film begins with Murphy lying flat on his back seemingly absorbing the frightening and ghostly air of the woods. We flicker between shots of an odd lighting installation and Murphy wandering through the woodlands. The lines between what is past and what is present are blurred as we travel through both the man’s memories, as well as what he sees and comprehends in the present. Sean Ellis does a masterful job through his directing and shot composition of creating an ominous and seriously intense cinematic mood with lots of little visual details and metaphors for the analytical mind to contemplate. Eventually we reach what appears to be Murphy’s goal, a cabin nestled deep in the woods, which soon after is set ablaze in a climactic and deeply symbolic moment.

This film is a fascinating spectacle and something very different, unique, and fresh for Stella McCartney. It is an extremely well constructed and thought out exercise in the arts of cinematic imagery, tone and mood with an alluring air that draws you into its visual world of strange and surreal wonders. It is an interesting take from Stella McCartney and begs the question of if she will continue to go down this delightfully weird and abstract path.


Director | Sean Ellis
Model | Cillian Murphy
Music | Paul McCartney