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In a brother duo, experimental film-maker Oz Thakkar created this cinematic short for his brother Nik Thakkar’s brand, Ada + Nik – luxury menswear brand with couture designer Ada Zanditon. The film is a bizarre, elegant tale of man who diurnally sacrifices to escape his memories. Carpe Noctem is a punk-luxe nightmare melodrama – tangled with a bizarre backstory. It’s a film of the kind that only Ada + Nik would dare create. Brando, played by Oliver Walker, wakes up everyday with no idea who he is – or where he’s come from. His actions are dictated by his primal instincts – lust and thrill.
The film is a hazy blur of premonitions. Brando – a blank canvas – puts on his clothes and drags on his smoke as he discovers himself. Premonitions take us on this punk-luxe journey – with a beautiful girl, a classic hog, and the open road. It’s a nod to the likes of Godard and Murakami – ambiguity and false roads. With a bizarre twist, we’re confronted by the ‘Master’. In the words of Bob Dylan, “..it may be the devil, or it may be the Lord – you’re gonna have to serve somebody” – a reality check hits home – Brando needs to decide whether or not he sacrifices to lose his memories and wake up – every day – the same. A cyclical hell of false roads and sacrifice – or live life free from burdens – free from the past. For a closer look at Ada + Nik’s spring/summer range click here.
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Read below for an exclusive interview with Oz Thakkar as he walks us through the creation of Carpe Noctem:
The location is great. How was it decided upon? Could you walk us through some of the pre-production of the film?
We were fortunate enough to be given full reign over filming at The Rosewood London Hotel – so that was a good starting point for the story. In terms of pre-production, my background is in long form content – I prep as much as we can before a shoot. Every frame was storyboarded and shot listed. To make this film happen, we collaboratively pulled in a lot of favours, and managed to get our hands on some great equipment, including an Arri Alexa and Cooke lenses. Weather was a killer, and working with a limited crew on a limited timescale, we had a lot of pressure to deal with – let alone bad weather! In the end we weren’t able to film a crucial scene.
How did the story come about? Was there a similar circumstance that you were faced with at one time?
The backbone of the story very much came from Ada + Nik. There was a clear brief, and a sacrifice was to take place. The rest was developed around inspirations from idols of mine – Murakami, Godard, Almódovar, Bob Dylan etc.. The film pays homage to each of them individually – in its own bizarre way. For me the film is a very personal piece.
How did the Ada + Nik Spring/Summer 2015 collection influence the way the video was shot and directed?
This is the second film I have made with Ada + Nik, the first one was equally experimental. It’s less about the collection itself, and more about who the Ada + Nik man is – and what the brand stands for. Carpe Noctem is the name for the SS15 collection itself and everything from the runway show through to the creative content has been built around the ethos of “Seizing The Night.” Oddly enough, the name for the collection actually came about from when Ada and Nik visited my childhood bedroom – ‘Carpe Noctem’ was one of the many notes scribed on my wall.
With the collection, how was it arranged and decided on when pieces would be introduced with the narrative?
Ada + Nik have certain signature pieces, primarily leather outerwear. So the classic leather jacket that they co-designed with NJOY instantly became our hero piece. And in part, the leather biker jacket became an influence in how we got involved with Untitled Motorcylces and their classic BMW motorbike. With the arduous weather, we also proved that the innovative use of hydrophobic cotton and breathable sneakernet used in Ada + Nik’s SS15 pieces came in handy in the rain too!
In the part where Brando has to decide his fate, what would your responsive have been?
Tough question. There is something about ignorance being bliss that has always had an appeal to me. There’s a lot of darkness in the world, and sometimes being naive to it all is an escapists dream… I guess to the answer to that question would be different everyday.
Any works for Fall/Winter?
I’m working on a range of projects at the moment including a feature film set in Tokyo and a range of experimental short form content. Ada + Nik are currently working on an editing set of concepts across design and creative for their FW15/16 campaign. They tend to get up to some pretty innovative stuff, like partnering with Vyclone to collaboratively shoot the SS15 runway show.