Fashion film is a genre that over the years has greatly evolved. Whereas in the past we’d generally define it as non-narrative video connected to a brand or label, nowadays, this definition appears to be rather obsolete. Fashion film has now become a playground for creatives to experiment with: film directors may want to break away from traditional ways of telling a story and photographers may be looking for a way into the film industry. That’s what happened with Milan-based fashion photographer Luca Spreafico, who has just released his fashion film Alex. Even though in the past he’s produced video content alongside his photography work, this work represents his first narrative piece.
Spreafico shared the project with me last year, just as we were about to come out of the strictest of lockdowns here in Italy. Especially for those whose work relies on meeting people and producing new content for clients, not being able to leave the house generally meant not being able to work. That’s why in addition to moving closer to the type of content that he wants to make in the future, Alex also represented an opportunity for the director to not stand still and have something to share with people across film festivals (which took place mostly online), platforms and online media.
The film breaks away from pre established video genres and finds itself at a crossroad between fashion film, short film and dance video. Inspired by EMDR therapy, Alex looks at abandonment during childhood as something that is likely to accompany us into adulthood. Through an experimental, movement-led approach, Alex recreates a dreamlike scenario in which dance becomes a release tool to work through one’s traumas.
When I watched the film for the first time, I realised how the fear of being abandoned is something that we all have in common. Knowing that one day those who have cared for will no longer be there has to be one of the hardest realisations and something that can hardly be expressed through words. With Alex, Spreafico gracefully unfolds this narrative through movement and dance, taking us on an emotional journey into the human psyche.