Vivienne Westwood Showreel

UK 1989. Dir Paul Spencer.

Directed by the photographer and filmmaker Paul Spencer in collaboration with Vivienne Westwood’s favourite model Sara Stockbridge, the pretext of this short film was to showcase Westwood’s Spring/Summer 1989 collection.  Set in Norfolk’s majestic Melton Constable Hall, Stockbridge enacts a variety of bizarre fantasy scenes with no coherent storyline. These include her being held captive and interrogated, dancing, posing on a sofa or traversing a room through buckets filled with water. The interesting colour effects in some of the scenes were crated by exposing 16mm Kodak tungsten stock to a combination of tungsten lights and daylight. An hour-long, silent reel with unedited rushes was recently rediscovered by the BFI and was for some time considered the only surviving material. Its multiple takes of Stockbridge possess the rare beauty and enigma characteristic of unfinished projects (think Romy Schneider in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s unfinished Inferno of 1964) and are worth viewing in their own right. The reel can be accessed via the BFI Mediatheque.