Russian actor and director Renata Litvinova has produced a surreal 13-minute film for Gucci that subverts the traditional fairy tale logic of wishmaking.
“In the course of one’s life, each human being collects wishes and desires,” Litvinova says at the start of The Discreet Charm of the Magicians, as she crosses wands with dozens of elegant wizards and witches, all wearing brightly coloured Gucci clothes with theatrical accessories. “And even we, magicians, have them,” she adds, “and that’s why we gather a few times a year to name our most important wishes, and make magic.”
Set at a flamboyant dinner in what looks like the dining hall of a palace, the diva introduces her magical family members, all of whom say their altruistic wishes aloud and then place the written desires in small Gucci handbags. “When they’re asleep,” the tale goes, “the wishes come true…” — but not without a little help from a giant yet friendly pigeon stuck in a tall tower in the centre of a city resembling St Petersburg. The “supreme monster”, who grants the wishes, and looks like Litvinova herself but with a carnivalesque beak on her face, also plays a part in realising wishes.
“This is what happens if you have a wish — the only person you can ask to make it true is yourself,” Litvinova wrote on her Facebook profile, giving away the moral of the story.
Enchanting thanks to its fantastical, luxurious costumes and setting, and the intoxicating, fairy tale-like soundtrack made by Litvinova’s long-term collaborator, Russian rock singer-songwriter Zemfira, the film — carrying Litvinova’s landmark lush, surreal style — is an escapist pleasure for viewers, all while bringing Gucci’s latest collections to a new and far more interesting life.