In The Mood For Gloss

Wong Kar-wai with actress Sandrine Pinna

From Puretrend:

Acclaimed Hong Kong director Wong Kar-Wai is collaborating with Shu Uemura cosmetics for a Christmas collection of make-ups in red and blue pigments which repeat the aesthetic codes of his films.
For this occasion, Wong Kar Wai has directed a short film, called “Mask”, in which he reveals his unique perspective of femininity.
Puretrend interviewed the director:

How did you react to the announcement of a collaboration with Shu Uemura?
WKW: I was asked during the filming of ‘The Grandmasters’ martial arts film and I was therefore delighted to take a break to work on a contemporary project focused towards the concept of beauty.

How did this project with a brand of cosmetics compare with your other collaborations? Did you observe any significant differences, encountered difficulties, or experienced enjoyment?
WKW: I enjoyed working with individuals and brands who know how to appreciate art and perfection. Shu Uemura is one of them.

Your film is inspired by the poem by Charles Bukowski “Burning in water, drowning in flames”, embodied by the red and blue theme. How did this idea come to you?
WKW: This poem by Charles Bukowski is a paradox. My film explores this contradiction of passion. I thought that the contrast of red and blue, which reflects the opposition between the hot and cold, was ideal.
What did you wish to express in this short film?
WKW: I wanted to get across a message celebrating life, and carrying positive energy.

How did the filming occur?
WKW: It took place on two very intense days. I was assisted by my usual team, composed of very talented people and a very natural gaiety.

In your opinion, how does a red and blue state of mind correspond with the heat of passion and bathing in a sea of serenity?
WKW: It is a very fleeting state but which makes all the salt of life, one to which we all aspire.
The mask and the palletes seem to be key elements in this film, what do they symbolize? What role do they play in the short and what is their relationship with the red and blue?
WKW: The mask symbolizes the universe of possibility: it releases us from the image we have of ourselves and allow us to free our imagination.

What type of female beauty did you wish to express in this film?
WKW: Mysterious, passionate, victorious, following the example team of the soccer team Nadeshiko.

How did the casting take place? What type of woman did you imagine for the part?
WKW: Sandrine (Pinna) is a young actress whose is already an award-winning talent. When the Shu Uemura project was born, I immediately knew that this role was for her, whose beauty expressed the duality and the exuberance of youth.

What do you think of a Shu Uemura collection dedicated to the end of the year?
WKW: I always have lots of fun to see a concept become reality, especially when it relies on colors of such splendour.

What have you thought of your collaboration with Mr. Uchiide, the artistic director of the make-up?
WKW: I love people driven by passion like Mr. Uchiide. We both loved playing and experimenting with our ideas. It formed innovative concepts, such as the word “LOVE”, which he designed on the lips of Sandrine.

What is your image of Christmas?
WKW: The celebration. A few years ago I spent Christmas in Buenos Aires during filming. In South America, the month of December is in the middle of the summer. The inhabitants cut snowflakes in the white paper, which they threw from their Windows to celebrate the whiteness of Christmas.

Where do you draw the inspiration for your films? What do you find the most exciting?
WKW: I find my inspiration in the creation, and I look at the journey.

The collection is available to buy now.