When we go to the movies, we like our films to have a strong, coherent narrative. That’s notwithstanding the more recent trend towards “Chaos Cinema”, the clanging, choppy, rapidly-cut buckets of sensory overload that have come to plague action movies and anything Michael Bay puts his name to. Chaos Cinema may rake in the box-office gold, but it’s also often at the expense of narrative. Traditionally, a movie is a piece of art that tells the whole story from start to end.
A photo shoot, on the other hand, even a cinematic one, gives you a few select pieces of the puzzle. It leaves you to fill in the gaps.
An Le’s latest shoot for issue 12 of Bambi Magazine is breathtakingly cinematic. It gives glimpses of those few key scenes: what looks to be a giant unearthly egg washing up on shore, a woman born out of it; a beauty in mermaid-like gowns, out of place and searching for fulfilment to a longing; escaping the paint-peeled walls of this crumbling shanty town and returning to the sea.
Without an explanation from Le it’s hard to know if these frames make up a distinct story. We’re privvy to images, moods, but not plot or character. But unlike the failings of modern cinema that’s the beautiful thing – such a photoshoot leaves it open for you to decide the story.
Divinely styled by Thien Thanh, you can immerse yourself in the cinematic beauty of An Le’s shoot at the gallery. Also be sure to check out the rest of issue 12 of Bambi at bambimagazine.com.