Wes Anderson Captures the Romance of Open Road Racing in Short Film for Prada

When purveyors of hard goods create their own media content for the purposes of brand promotion, the results can either be genius or pure disaster. BMW showed the world how well “native advertising” can be done with its original short video series, The Hire, which highlighted the talents of numerous Hollywood A-list directors (Ang Lee, John Frankenheimer) and starred Clive Owen at the wheel of the comapny’s high-performance cars. No one has done it better since. Until now.

Prada, the hip Italian couture brand, has enlisted the quirky stylings of director Wes Anderson to showcase, well, its uniquely Italian perspective on personal style in the short film Castello Cavalcanti. In the course of just under eight minutes, Anderson’s short film – based loosely on the open road races like the Mille Miglia – pushes no particular product, but rather the Prada brand as a macro statement. Jason Schwartzman, who plays the unfortunate driver, wears the Prada label on his vintage racing coveralls.

The short piece is fun and lively in keeping with Anderson’s cinematic tradition, with a set that looks almost dioramic, dialogue that moves quickly and abruptly, and a signature non sequitur  running throughout.

For vintage motorsport fans, it’s a fun glimpse of what these big races meant to the remote villages through which they traveled. Otherwise, it’s the most enjoyable 7-minute-45-second commercial you’ll sit through for a brand you may have never considered.