Before crossing over to making bizarre but incredibly human films, Spike Jonze made his name directing skating videos, music videos, and commercials. He’s returned to that last format with an ad for Kenzo perfume that is a great short film (and, bonus, doesn’t really feel like it’s hocking perfume) centered around a bored lady leaving a dreary gala to break out into spontaneous dance.
The actress at the center of it is Margaret Qualley (of The Nice Guys), who used to be a dancer before transitioning to acting. Her incredibly emotive moves and expressions makes this short feel alive and fresh, spontaneous yet carefully choreographed as well. The choreography was done by Ryan Hueffington (who did Sia’s “Chandelier” video), and the song that puts the boogie in Qualley’s step is “Mutant Brain” by Jonze’s brother, Sam Spiegel. It’s an effervescent break from the norm that injects a lot of humanity in celebratory abandon as Qualley busts many a move throughout the film. It’s exciting to see Jonze still have these great ideas and find avenues to explore them in short films, as his genius is always on display in such bursts of insanity.