Charlotte Gainsbourg, Chloë Sevigny, Indya Moore, and Julianne Moore star in the director’s surreal collaboration with Anthony Vaccarello
Jim Jarmusch’s latest short film is haunted by the glamorous specter of Charlotte Gainsbourg. The director of Only Lovers Left Alive and Paterson was recently approached by Anthony Vaccarello to interpret Saint Laurent’s Spring 2021 collection “following his own rules,” according to a press release from the brand. Ergo, the resulting film, French Water, is a surrealist masterclass in subverting the rules—of both cinematic narrative and social etiquette—entirely. The Ghost of Gainsbourg drifts through the exquisitely sterile dregs of a dinner party; guzzling champagne from leftover bottles, showing off her best ghost moves to lone waiter Leo Reilly, and cycling through an impressive array of party outfits ranging from prim to patent leather.
Accompanied by a dramatic score from Noveller and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, it’s all a very Jarmusch medley of echoes, eerily mundane details, and fragments of memory discovered on the cutting room floor. (The austere setting, while not the most appetite-whetting of interiors, is also a surprisingly perfect counterpart to the vast stretch of desert where Vaccarello staged his Spring 2021 collection in December—a hypnotic mirage “symbolizing a yearn for serenity, open space, a slower rhythm.”) As time and space collapse, only one thing is clear: Ghost or not, Charlotte looks like a damn good time, and it’s no wonder her friends (played by Chloë Sevigny, Julianne Moore, and Indya Moore) are so keen to find her before heading to the after party.