Monday, March 30, 2015

a crass commercial interlude from ALPHA BITCH by Jason Squamata

 (images by Steven Meisel.  used without permission.)

...from ALPHA BITCH by Jason Squamata...

A commercial for London Rothschild's exciting new fragrances.
    We see the diva herself, reclining in an opulent bubblebath (each bubble tinted by computers with the decadent complexity of a faberge egg), a bird's eye view, or perhaps a view through the eye of a butterfly.  From above, at any rate.  She's swooning in the tub, which is shaped like a massive pink clam-shell.  Her R-rated regions are obscured by bubbles.  She's blowing kisses at the camera.  There's the sound of spidery manicured fingers on harpstrings, plucking and strumming something angelic, with a thumping bass-line that gives the song a body.  London's voice-over is introducing us to her trinity of perfumes.  Her voice is like the sound of a cartoon mouse pureed in champagne and splashed on red velvet.  
    "How much of me can there be?  How many Londons are there inside me?  I'm a creature of the night.  I'm a mystery.  In my deliciousness, I embody eternity."

     It's all too profound.  Her voice has an Auto-Tune echo that makes it sound like she knows what the words mean.  Synthetic intelligence.  Artificial authority.  A jewel-encrusted jingle. Breathless blurbism.
    The camera careens from the bathing Venus to a vaulted ceiling, a low-brow Sistine chapel pastiche, where a cartoon of London sprawls like Michelangelo's Adam, but female and petite in a silver bikini, extending her hand to receive the sacred cel-phone (which is offered from above by a God of glamour.  Imagine Karl Lagerfeld dipped in silver, hovering in a cloud of glitter, attended by sexless soft focus angel babies).  The ceiling gets animated.  Cartoon London clutches the cel-phone.  It turns out the harp and bass were elements in a heavenly ring-tone.  Cartoon London accepts the call and speaks.
    "What up, bitches?"
    The bass line comes back in a techno setting, the ceiling starts spinning like a kaleidoscope on speed.  When the spinning stops, it's a city street, a city of the fabulous, where all the bystanders are beautiful, all the signs are in sexy foreign languages, burning brightly with hot hieroglyphics.  Racing through the funscape of the future in a little pink Porsche is London, dressed from throat to toe in a latex body suit.  Its surface is a riot of animated holographic tattoos.  She's still on the phone, looking straight at the camera.  There's a hi-res CGI sheen to her skin.  A similarly augmented, scifi version of Jessica is in the passenger seat, applying luminous silver lipstick in the mirror.  Jessica says (in a vocoder voice), "How do we look?"
    London says (to Jessica, to the phone, to whoever's watching, meaning everyone), "How do we LOOK?"
    The Porsche crashes into the floodlit foyer of a nightclub and goes to pieces.  The screen's a blur of fragmented forms that then resume their shapes in the club's interior, London's latex becomes a kind of liquid and forms a party dress when she lands on the dancefloor, surrounded by bumping and grinding club bunnies (also in latex, sexless like those angels, looking more like London the more they dance).  We get stroboscopic glimpses of the club's aestheticized car-crash interior, burning auto parts hovering everywhere, like this is a frozen moment between impact and fatality, like we're inside London's head as her whole nightlife flashes before her eyes.  Her dancing has a computer generated quality, even in life, so the special effects are almost seamless.  On the soundtrack, multiple Londons say "DELICIOUS" like they mean it.  A singular London voice gives the post-script.  "For an evening on the town, when the future is now".
    A montage of clocks with many different shapes and phases, their digits and antique hands going blurry as time flies by.  The clock-shots are layered over each other.  Another kaleidoscope is evoked.  It bleeds into a montage of various major cities by night, the lights blinking on and off and the shadows shifting as the hours blur by.  Momentary, almost subliminal shots of London dancing against the backdrops of New York, Paris, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and finally London itself.  Random hand-held shots of London in furs with Jessica and a gaggle of party girls who might be Becca, Lacy, and Chandra.  On the street in between clubs, but still spinning like vertigo is her natural state.  London spraying perfume on her throat and writhing like it's getting her high in  an old school British phone-booth, like Bowie on the back cover of "Ziggy Stardust".  The Jessica vocoder voice again: "How do we roll?"
    Multiple, breathier London's say "DELIRIOUS".
    Singular London says "For the wee hours, when it's almost tomorrow."
    London's entourage runs and spins ahead of her, gamboling into the morning mist and turning into greyhounds in diamond-studded harnesses, sloughing their outfits.  The darkness receding.  Four haute couture party dresses left in the street as the darkness recedes, then blown everywhere on a sudden, lightning-tinted wind.  London has paused before the threshold of what looks like a Tokyo Love Hotel.  There's a shadowy male model with digitally demonized eyes and a half-assed suit standing in the doorway, smoking something.  Her eyes meet his.  Bubbles again.  Then rapid cuts from strange angle to strange angle in a chic hotel room, full of dark, where only the bed is illuminated, flickering glimpses of London's willowy limbs and this stranger's hairless musculature and flashes, here and there, of a greyhound and a junkyard dog engaged in some kind of physical fever. Cameras flash and the vocoder asks, "How do we feel?".
    Suddenly it's a hotel room in L.A. full of morning light.  The music stops, except for the faintest suggestion of distant harp-strings.  The camera takes in the ruins of London, naked on the floor, tangled strategically in white sheets.  Her make-up is smeared.  Her hair is chaotic.   But she's somehow still beautiful.  She's applying a droplet of perfume to her forehead, like she's blessing herself.  She's staring at the ceiling and crying little diamonds.  Multiple exhausted, dejected Londons whisper "DESPERATE".  
    London looks right at the camera and says "For the morning after...when tomorrow is already gone" as the harpstrings get louder and the bass rises in the mix again and it means her phone is ringing.  There's the suggestive sound of a bathtub running and wet skin hidden by bubbles.  "Delicious.  Delirious.  Desperate.  A trinity of fragrances by London Rothschild.  Available everywhere."
    All in the space of sixty seconds.

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