The Arrangement – SELF03 by Bret Easton Ellis & Anthony Vaccarello
Anthony Vaccarello continues his innovative collaborative art venture with the help of the unique Bret Easton Ellis
When American Psycho was first published in the early nineties the critics couldn’t wait to condemn it. The vitriol against it was so fierce at the time America was only a few steps away from public book burnings in local town squares. Almost 30 years later it’s now recognised as one of the classics of American literature – that is still, nonetheless, very disturbing in parts. And by now we all know that Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello is drawn to the things that don’t always navigate a nice and safe straight line down the middle. So when it came time for him to bring to life the third instalment of his highly personal art project SELF, the choice of Bret Easton Ellis to collaborate with might not be the question mark it first seems.
The SELF project itself was conceived of as a way for Vaccarello to represent the various artistic forces that make up Saint Laurent as a brand. Each instalment is produced in conjunction with an artist, photographer or some other highly talented creative. It’s another way for us to get to know Saint Laurent; beyond what we see on the catwalks and in the shops. THE FALL has already covered the previous two instalments and the third, The Arrangement, is the exciting first video entry to the series. Fittingly perhaps, there are also three episodes to this instalment – all directed by Bret Easton Ellis. Authors aren’t generally known to have the kind of transferable skills that makes good film directors but this is actually Easton Ellis’ fourth short film, in addition to a serialised web drama that was shown back in 2016. Creative polymaths, it seems, are still the best kind.
The triptych of films by Easton Ellis explores the subtle but sometimes sinister and dangerous subtext of jealousy bordering on obsession against the backdrop of a modern, fashionable idyl – the kind of idyl that easily fools the unobservant looking in from the outside. Everything is set to Windmills of Your Mind by 60s songstress, Petula Clark, and it only serves to add to the destabilising undercurrent. As beautiful as the music, people and settings are there’s just that almost imperceptible hint of something much darker going on – or about to happen. It’s brilliant work from two great artists. And hopefully we won’t have to wait quite so long for SELF04.
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To watch all parts of The Arrangement visit THE FALLtv