Director David Lynch surely made his love of the color blue quite evident in this short film. Lady Blue Shanghai, starring Marion Cotillard, face of the Lady Dior handbag and of Inception fame, enters her Shanghai hotel room to find a vintage record playing and a blue Dior purse in the middle of the room unexpectedly. What follows is an odd, low-budget dream sequence but the beauty of this particular film is the total running time is only 16 minutes. Yes, you heard that right! What that entails, for me at least, is even if this film doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, surely you have 16 minutes to spare to find out if it really is something you could get into.
Sure, it is odd like I mentioned before, but but it’s weirdness pales in comparison to some of his more famous work. Oh, and the most important aspect, and one which you might be asking, ‘Why is this film getting reviewed on Japan Cinema?’ Quite simply, the film is set in Shanghai! Now on to important matters; the story. Well, there isn’t much time for the story to develop so frankly, it will be up to you to decide if you will ever fully understand it, but you either love it or hate it. Did I love it? As an atmospheric short film, this may work. As a stand-alone I felt Lynch might be trying to head into mainstream cinema with this outing but perhaps he is fresh out of ideas. To quote the man himself, “this falls between a regular film and a commercial.”
If you’re fairly new to David Lynch but are interested, I still suggest you watch it. It’s really good and I hope to see more like it. As a commercial, this is pretty good. Everything is in place: the bag, the dress, the make up, and even the perfume. Surely, I am not in the business of reviewing commercial so it just goes to show that the real power of this short film is that I didn’t have any real clue that it was a long-form commercial while watching it. Great short film, though I’m not sure it would make anyone want to buy a purse.
As for the main actress, well, she was awesome in Inception and she gives a good performance here as well. Her acting in this is clearly a Lynch-directed performance and it made me forget this film was actually just an exercise in turning advertising on its head. I think that Lady Blue Shanghai is Lynch’s best short ever, and he has some very good shorts, such as The Alphabet, Lumiere, and Absurda. Although it is hard for me to recommend a commercial, when I think of it in terms of a short film, I think you could do alot worse in 16 minutes. It is a well made short by a master of his self-made craft.