Fans of Spike Jonze’s filmography are all too familiar with the lengthy dry spells that separate his feature releases. Jonze has only directed four movies since 1999, and that each one is better than the last doesn’t make the waiting any easier. But it’s not as though Jonze is letting his creative muscles atrophy during these years-long stretches. Jonze has spent the bulk of his 25 years behind the camera in the short form realm, having cut his cinematic teeth directing music videos for the likes of Weezer, the Beastie Boys, and R.E.M., and going on to find subjects in the likes of Björk, The Chemical Brothers, and Tenacious D.
Still, even in this neighborhood has Jonze been inert, directing zilch since his 2013 masterpiece Her. His three-year informal absence from the trade breaks today, however, with his latest entry to the short form game: a perfume commercial—a very Spike Jonzey perfume commercial—titled “My Mutant Brain.”
Eager to subvert the aura that’s likely to hit upon hearing the very words “perfume commercial,” Jonze sends his star, a wordless Margaret Qualley on an aggressively playful one-woman dance party through the lobby of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion—a typically high society venue. She cuts loose, wigs out, dance-offs with her own reflection, flirts with a marble bust, and jabs some guy on a cell phone for no ostensible reason.
Directed for the French luxury house Kenzo, Jonze manages the cool, muted visual flare of his big screen pieces, likewise their penchant for burrowing through an established “world” and coming out the other side with a delightful piece of chaos. Hats off to the magnificently madcap Qualley, choreographer Ryan Heffington (of “Chandelier” fame), and musician Sam Spiegel for turning out this little wonder to sate us until the next Jonze picture. For those of you yearning to know more about the music, the track is entitled “Mutant Brain,” and it is the debut single from Sam Spiegel, who is actually Spike Jonze’s brother. It was made in conjunction with Houston-based producer Ape Drums. The single is out now via Interscope.
Featured Image: KENZO/YouTube