The restrictions of time can often make things difficult for filmmakers. But director Daria Geller has proven herself extremely talented at dealing with this challenge in her new film Collapsology. A spry yet almost tragic short produced in conjunction with the 2018 collection of Russian fashion label Brier (with this being the second installment of her work with the brand).
In all honesty, I was surprised by this film as it’s not often I personally find those made with attention to fashion to be enticing outside of its attractive costumes and flashy visuals but Collapsology holds much more weight than expected. It’s peppy in its execution. It successfully creates this alluring world, this cinematic relationship between its characters and setting, that whilst short and lacking traditional plotting leaves the viewer wanting more.
Exploring this further, I’d like to draw attention towards Geller, who also worked as her own Director of Photography on this project. The visuals of this film are extraordinarily striking, bringing out emotional authenticity and a degree of spectacle in even the most mundane settings, and Geller deserves much credit to this achievement. She’s managed to bring out the best in every element on screen – helped by the succinct and glamourous performances in Vasilisa Izmaylova and Kirill G, as well as the undoubtedly attractive costuming.
I also believe this short holds a lot of potential, and frankly this is where I’m (pleasantly) disappointed in the film, as I am really interested in what could be done if this project was given the opportunity to become extended or even built into a feature length narrative. It draws the viewer beyond its visuals and into a narrative experience, and I’d love to see what larger message could be found when built upon the current theme of self-destruction in relationships and society.
Granted this short film still holds more of an experimental, vignette execution overall but there’s concepts here that feel like it’s opening itself into trailer territory. Including, but not limited to, a monologue reminiscent of Ewan McGregor’s “Choose Life” speech from Trainspotting with a more sombre edge, and a collection of shots that build a lifestyle around its characters (even when some imagery is clearly leaned towards pure aesthetic purposes).
In conclusion, Collapsology is an intriguing film. It’s dancing a line between experimental cinema and a pitch for a more traditional fiction project, and I feel that might give it a stronger sense of attention towards wider film-fanatic audiences. I also imagine this broad appeal will work successfully for the Brier brand, elevating its advertising beyond the richly handsome visuals of the character’s wardrobe and into an intimate message for its ideal customer. As all good filmmaking should do, it’s telling a story that connects to its viewer, and no matter how you interpret that Geller has done that gorgeously with this short.