Curated Films

Fashion & Fantasy | Part 18

A monthly curated video selection by Niccolò Montanari: Historically, dance has been used to express a message or as a way to communicate. It allows us to use our bodies to share how we are feeling, to reference past episodes through specific moves and symbolism, and to connect with one another in situations where words tend to fail.

A great deal of video content that I come across features a dance component, mostly across music videos, but also fashion films, branded content and short films. What I wanted to bring to this month’s Fashion and Fantasy column is a selection of videos that use dancing and our bodies to reflect on contemporary issues and themes. Most of these we tend to consume without giving them much thought, left with a simple decision of whether we want to like or share. However, I feel it’s important to highlight those productions whose level of care is able to shine through all the minute details that the film directors took time to research and display.

The Blaze — Territory by The Blaze

Shot in Algiers, the French directing and music-making duo The Blaze explore homecoming with a powerful physical performance, addressing the themes of belonging, masculinity and tenderness.

War Dance by Cyprien Clément-Delmas

In a collaboration with the French electronic artist Thylacine, director Cyprien Clément-Delmas expresses his own aesthetic interpretation of the consequences of violence in War Dance.

Rosalía — De Plata by Manson

Shot in LA and directed by Spanish filmmaking collective Manson, De Plata combines tradition and modernity through the voice and moves of catalan singer Rosalía.

Ama by Julie Gautier

This captivating underwater piece sees writer, director and dancer Julie Gaultier hold her breath over the course of six minutes while performing an incredible routine. Dedicated to all the women of the world, this film is a way to encourage to talk about sufferings and joys.

Nike Vogue by Daisy Zhou

Part of Nike's BeTrue Campaign and featuring legendary voguer Omari Mizrahi, Nike Vogue sees the American brand legitimise vogueing as a sport, as well as the athletes who engage with it.

Frank Lead — Blossom Through by Arthur Valverde and Michael Gugger

In this music video for artist Frank Lead, a woman and her virtual spirit counterpart dance and mirror one another in order to be reunited.

Without a Word by Youness Benali

Swedish-born, London-based director Youness Benali captures the moves of several characters as they express their pain, feelings and struggle through their bodies.

This is America by Hiro Murai

Filled with important references, This is America is the latest masterpiece of director Hiro Murai. The video combines provocative images with an almost comical approach to violence, complemented by Childish Gambino’s physical performance.

Basique / Orelsan by Greg&Lio

Shot for OrelSan’s track Basique, the Paris-based directing duo Greg&Lio convey the musician’s message through an impressively coordinated choreography with more than 350 people.

Nulla by Jean Claude Billmaier

Nulla is the latest personal project by New York-based director Jean Claude Billmaier. It visually reflects on mental health, with​​ ​its main theme ​revolving around the notions of tension and release in our daily lives​. The ​​result is a carefully constructed study of movement choreographed by Loni Landon​ ​to an original score by​ R&B singer Toulouse.