Step aside, Tom Ford, another scion of a vast fashion empire has deigned to make the jump into feature directing. Or rather, a pair — designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, better known as the sister-creators of the haute couture label Rodarte, want to flex their artistic muscles a little more than the occasional fashion show can allow. Boutique distributor A24 was all too happy to accommodate the young visionaries, and will front their debut Woodshock for a premiere on September 15 of this year. This project has been an intriguing enigma for some time now, but between the striking poster released yesterday and this morning’s dreamy, beguiling new trailer, we’re getting a first look at one of this fall’s most intriguing new offerings.


The fashion-to-film aspect makes the Tom Ford comparisons inevitable, but the trailer below suggests that Woodshock will dispel them in no time. Rather than aping Ford’s high-gloss perfume commercial aesthetic, the Mulleavys’ film takes an intimate, lo-fi approach. Kirsten Dunst stars as a woman caught up in a time of crisis, developing a dependence on a mysterious cannabinoid drug as her personal life starts to fall apart. Employing film stock to get that worn, lived-in look, the Mulleavys show her drifting through reality and dream, an impressionistic breakdown with darkness encroaching from the fringes. The trailer plays it stingy with dialogue or details of plot, presumably in accordance with a film that prioritizes mood and image over narrative. It looks pretty out-there, if nothing else.

But there’s plenty of cause for optimism here. A24’s got a pretty strong track record, for one. Dunst has been on a roll lately, landing the lead in The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos’ upcoming TV series, and fast approaching the Cannes opening her Sofia Coppola film The Beguiled. The Mulleavys, meanwhile, may be an unproven quantity. But this trailer proves that if nothing else, they’ve got a rare eye for natural and unnatural beauty. Could this be the arrival of a new pair of serious talents?

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