All Is Vanity
A fashion shoot in a loft studio transforms into something stranger and funnier, in writer-director Marcos Mereles’ feature debut.
A moody intern (Yaseen Aroussi) works for a fashion photographer (Sid Phoenix) who, on his best days, is quick to criticise and often, as the makeup artist (Rosie Steel) notes, crosses the line ethically, morally and, well, in pretty much every way. They’re all present for a shoot with a model (Isabelle Bonfrer). But no sooner do they begin than things start heading south. The photographer is in a particularly antsy state, although his attempts at coolness give off the air of a sociopath. His assistant bridles at everything he says. The model is non-plussed by his behaviour. And then the makeup artist disappears.
Mereles’ chamber comedy-drama opens knowingly but shifts to increasingly surreal territory as events take their course. The cast, which also includes Christopher Sherwood as the Film Director, David Sayers as the Film Critic and Sam Halpenny as the Studio Owner, are all pawns in Mereles’ playful narrative, which gradually reveals its hand.