For their AW’12 campaign, youth fashion brand 55DSL broke new ground in their mission to fuel creativity, having launched the short film ‘Beyond Mountains, More Mountains’ at the prestigious Milan Film Festival.
The film was a beautifully abstract, epic road-trip through Italy; a vision conceived by award-winning directors CANADA. The collective expertly embodied the ethos of 55DSL’s creative strapline ‘Kids In Italia’, whereby each season 55DSL gives a new artist the freedom to showcase their unbridled artistic vision of 55DSL’s brand heritage: celebrating what it means to be young, free, adventurous and Italian.
The creativity continues in 2013, however this time 55DSL have ventured overseas to discover the Italian essence in new frontiers. 55DSL proudly present their next short film for Spring / Summer ’13 – shot in its entirety in the blazing hot plains of the U.S.A. – entitled Italy, Texas.
For this daring departure from Italian soil, 55DSL enlisted talented filmmaker Aoife McArdle. And in the small town of Italy, Texas, not far from Dallas, the acclaimed Irish born director found the perfect setting to tell a story of unique and unconventional friendships. A celebration of creativity inspired by the new 55DSL collection. For two weeks this other Italy became the film set and its wonderful residents – including their pets – were the stars.
As a director, Aoife McArdle is part realist, part dreamer with an eye for beautiful imagery. Her directing style blends a documentary-like approach with cool, cinematic visuals and a mesmerising atmosphere. Thanks to a knack for humour and a bonafide love of film and literature, Aoife’s showreel has a healthy dose of wit and the brains to match. Aoife first made her name as a director in the world of commercials, making spots for the likes of Nike, GQ and Becks to name a few, and has so far been decorated with two Clios, a Cannes Lion and an award at The Art Director’s Club in Paris. Since venturing into the music video scene, Aoife has made waves with videos that include a hypnotic promo for Simian Mobile Disco and a stark picture of modern British life for Little Comets, which earned the RSSF Best Music Video title in 2011.
‘Italy, Texas’ is a film that examines our relationship with the wild souls with whom we share our lives. Animals, humans, the spirit of life itself; these souls are headstrong, they are untamable and they are a part of us.
The story traces twenty-four electric hours in Italy, a different Italy. An Italy found in the heart of Texas, USA, named by the son of a man who, on his deathbed, dreamed of spending his last days in his motherland. Narrated by Hunter, one of the town’s inhabitants, the film focuses on the deep bond that Italy’s close-knit community shares with its animals, both tame and wild.
Allegorical, intimate and glowing with an undercurrent of magic, ‘Italy, Texas’ captures the exuberance of youth and the power of the enduring connections that make up our lives. Simple in narrative yet rich in atmosphere, it is an evocative tale of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Aoife on collaborating with 55DSL:
“55 have been very supportive and enthusiastic throughout the film. Getting out there, infiltrating a small, cautious town and making this film was like a baptism of fire for all of us. Even though the locals thought we were mad to begin with, they grew to love us. All of the 55DSL crew and our film crew really bonded with each other and the locals. It was an unexpectedly humbling experience. I really appreciate the belief that 55DSL has had in the project. I’d always wanted to shoot in Texas with real locals and make a film about people’s relationships with their animals so a film where I could combine both obsessions is close to my heart. I ended up learning so much more about what makes people tick through the process and that is something for which I will always be thankful.
“Italy, Texas”, Directed and Written by Aoife McArdle
Starring Brenden Reza & Gillian Vanderslice
Executive Producer & Producer: Tamsin Glasson for Colonel Blimp
Director of Photography: Steve Annis
Editor: Thomas Grove Carter
Sound Designer: Andy Humphries
Sound Mixer: Kirk Edwards
Creative Stylist: Alexis Johnson
Make Up/Hair: Dominique Burnett
Animal Wrangler: Leah Self
Animal Assistant: Dillon Self
Production Assistant: Jeff Cobb
Music Supervision by Major Tom -Tracks:
· Julianna Barwick – ‘Prizewinning’
· Dirty Beaches ‘Low Rider
· Allah Las ‘Catamaran’
· Chris Morphitis ‘Guitar Shuffle’
NO animals were harmed in the making of this film