Strange Way of Life, by Madrid director Pedro Almodovar, is the first short film produced by the Saint Laurent (Kering) production company. Released in cinemas on 16 August 2023, the film stars signature costumes by the luxury brand and a sleek aesthetic.
The story follows two cowboys, played by Ethan Wake and Pedro Pascal, who are pitted against each other by life (the former is a sheriff searching for the latter’s murderous son) but who have been united by passion for 25 years.
This queer western is the first film laurent-announces-launch-of-production-company/2023041368978″produced by Saint Laurent Productions, which was created on 22 February 2023 as a subsidiary of the fashion house. While its primary focus is on the production of films for the cinema, according to the company directory, the company does not have any employees.
The tone is set by Saint Laurent Production on the film’s poster and in its first credits panel, where it states “Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello presents” a film by Almodovar. The brand acts as associate producer, and thus holds the rights to the film. It is also responsible for the costumes. This is a step up from sponsorship (product placement), which is financing to appear on screen, but which does not confer any rights.
This is the case, for example, of Almodovar’s second short film, The Human Voice, starring Tilda Swinton, which succeeds the western. In the introductory scene, we clearly recognise Balenciaga’s ball gowns (a futuristic red crinoline from the spring/summer 2020 collection), then a jacket by Dries Van Noten, an enormous bottle of Chanel number 5, and finally, we hear a “where’s my Chanel bag?”.
What kind of artistic freedom is there when a brand produces a film?
In reality, it is the same as when an entrepreneur or