Every major city in the world has an underground. Beneath the bustling assembly line of crowded sidewalks and monolithic buildings always lies an expressive, rumbling underbelly of freaks and visionaries; outcasts and icons too transgressive for the world above. This wonderland beneath a city is the focus of Givenchy’s campaign film for their new fragrance L’Interdit banking on a combined aesthetic of racey and “prohibited” (the English translation of L’Interdit) with refined and luxurious.
Acclaimed actress Rooney Mara portrays the lead of the film as we follow her from looking bored at a fancy party to enthralled by the scandalous underground as she forgoes the night sky for tunnels and warehouses. The direction from respected filmmaker Todd Haynes, who directed Mara in 2015s Carol, greatly contributes to the sense of urgency we get as Mara leaves the party and the carnival like sensory overload of the underground. Music also plays a crucial role in the tone and pace of the film as a delicate (yet slightly ominous) string piece gives way to a thumping techno-tinged electronica track from Danish musician and producer Trentemoller once Mara reaches the subways and the world of the underground opens itself to her.
We see many different looks and aesthetics in the subway underbelly from a suave street-performer to sparkling and eccentric ravers exemplifying the underground as an inclusive haven for all. For someone who may see themselves as one of “the prohibited” this underground sanctuary and community is a lifeblood and with Mara we taken through an ever-so-brief glimpse of this world and are right there with her with her shoes off staring at a six-in-the-morning city sunrise.
Givenchy Creative Director | Clare Waight Keller
Director | Todd Haynes
Talent | Rooney Mara