Nothing whispers of innocence quite like the wide eyes and untamed hair of youth. At the opening, you’d think that’s what Anton Ostlund’s shoot of Emelie will focus on being: a straightforward portrait of a beautiful young girl. And then, without warning, a ghost emerges. It’s as if a demon quietly posessing her has broken forth and been captured by Oslund’s lens.
With a few ghosting techniques that appear to blur the line between body and soul – or, in a wilder imagination, between the possessor and the possessed – Ostlund manages to transcend an already beautiful portrait into something beautiful and haunting. Alina Jun’s hair and makeup looks are pretty, dishevelled, soft and smudged all at once, and perfectly so.
There’s a reason why the pureness of youth forms the basis of so many sinister characters in film and literature: the more innocent the eyes, the more terrifying the contrast when the innocence is broken.
As for whether Emelie’s ghost is – in this story – intended to be supernatural, a shadow formed of human emotion, or merely a physical imprint on a smudged bit of film, Ostlund leaves for you to decide. Either way, she’s never less than gorgeous throughout.
Shot for issue 14 of Bambi Magazine (bambimagazine.com) you can view the full shoot at the gallery.