Watch as directors Floria Sigismondi and Georgia Hudson showcase their uncompromising visions within their treasured, newly unearthed films. Head to the Nowness links below to hit play on these beautiful pieces.
Floria Sigismondi brings her singular artistry to the advertising world, lending an immediacy and edge to the world’s most recognizable brands. Her award-winning work across commercials, music video, and photography—including two published monographs—continue to reinforce these genres’ relevance as art forms. With her trademark cinematic style and impeccable design sense, Sigismondi has re-imagined such brands as Samsung, Absolut, Target, MAC Cosmetics, Motorola, and CoverGirl, much as her iconic music videos helped invent and re-invent the personas of artists like David Bowie, Justin Timberlake, Pink, Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera and Marilyn Manson. Both the 2014 International Cristal Festival and the World Luxury Awards honored Sigismondi’s fragrance campaign (film and print) for Thierry Mugler’s Alien.
The daughter of Italian opera singers who emigrated to Canada when she was young, Sigismondi was raised in an exceedingly artistic environment. She studied painting, illustration, and photography at Ontario College of Art, leading to a career in fashion photography, which introduced her otherworldly take on modern beauty. Bringing her audacious, painterly imagery to music video, Sigismondi has become one of the most acclaimed directors in the field’s history.
In 2013, her video for Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” swept video awards globally, including the MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year. Spectacle, the first museum exhibition to celebrate the art and history of the music video, showcased Sigismondi’s enormous influence, while her video for Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People” earned a permanent spot in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. In 2010, Sigismondi made her feature film debut with The Runaways, a coming-of-age biographical film she wrote and directed about the 1970’s all-girl rock band, starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. In both her commercial and creative endeavors, Sigismondi gives innovative form to the subconscious, exploring the space where the physical and psychological intersect. Her flawlessly executed worlds of fantasy and aspiration recast popular culture from a perspective of hope and beauty, guiding its visual and conceptual evolution.
Directors’ Cuts: Postmortem Bliss
Floria Sigismondi explores existential teenage angst and the over-medicalization of the USA
This is a coming-of-age story about a young boy growing up in the nineties, submitting to a world of prescription drugs, and losing himself in the storm of adolescence. Postmortem Bliss was director Floria Sigismondi’s first foray into short-form filmmaking back in 2006. It is also is an adaptation of a book of the same name written by her husband, Lawrence Rothman, who describes his teenage years in which he was diagnosed with ADHD and became addicted to antidepressants.
Rothman’s book has a vivid stream-of-consciousness style, which Sigismondi captures in this undulating piece. With Ritalin/Adderall pills filling every frame, Postmortem Bliss becomes more of an indictment of American society, where parents are the drug dealers, and the pharmacy is the supplier. Regrettably, the young protagonist in this film, who was played by rising star Nick Fowler, lost his battle with drug addiction in 2015, aged 24.
The award-winning director has a trademark cinematic style that leans into experimental filmmaking. Sigismondi made her feature film debut with The Runaways, a coming-of-age biographical film she wrote and directed about the 1970s all-girl rock’n’roll band, starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning. Since then, she has also reimagined campaigns for Thierry Mugler, Absolut, M.A.C. and has been the creative force behind iconic music videos for Rihanna, Marilyn Manson, Justin Timberlake, Bjork, Katy Perry, The White Stripes and Christina Aguilera.
Watch the film here
Georgia has been honored as the 2019 Director of the Year Shots Awards Europe.
Her visceral filmmaking winds its way through themes of humanity, self expression and creative culture, with her passionate attention to evocative and lustrous aesthetics creating sensual and powerful moving image.
Her passion for dance, emotion-driven storytelling and the way movement interacts with the camera – have been harnessed to create films for Under Armour, the BBC, Nike, Pink, and Loyle Carner to name a few.Developing her craft through creating music videos, she was subsequently nominated in 2017 as Best Director at the UKVMAs. Her Nike “Stop at Nothing” film has taken home numerous awards and nominations – notably Silver Clio Sports Award for Direction and a Cannes Shortlist for Film Craft – Best Direction.
Directors’ Cuts: Temper
Addiction, heartbreak and human connection pervade this passion project from Georgia Hudson
In 2016 director Georgia Hudson was newly sober, newly single and had just become a mom for the first time. That winter, she decided to embark on a project she never imagined would take years to complete; a culmination of her emotions and fears, transmuted through the stories of strangers living in New York City, led to the creation of Temper.
“In retrospect, I can see that this was a therapeutic project,” says Hudson, whose connection to rhythm and music has led her to shoot campaigns for Nike and Under Armour, and music videos for P!nk and Loyle Carner. “I found cast members who told my story when I was lost for words.”
Some of the cast of Temper include Mela, an actor, dancer and new mum; Oscar, who has been coming to terms with his addiction; Imma, who is seeking their true self; and Dick, who Hudson describes as an observer with only “one foot in reality.”
“When we started on this project it was like detangling a web of ideas. It didn’t make sense.” Hudson retained this sense of ambiguity and used it as an aesthetic impetus for the film’s multilayered narrative. “It was a sprawl of disjointed moments, but over time we were able to distill it, understand the concepts better and weave it together.”
Hudson’s film travels the breadth of human suffering to eventually arrive at a place of hope. She embues her project with a sense of escapism that fires up the imagination, yet retains the grit of documentary filmmaking.
“So now we have come to release Temper in the winter of 2020. In this strange year where so much has been affected, burnt and broken,” says Hudson, “To whoever might see this, I hope Temper can offer the same solace and perspective that it gave me while making it.”
Watch the film here