This Friday + Saturday, the first US premiere of the ASVOFF Film Festival will take over New York’s French Institute Alliance Française (fi:af). Created by the iconic Diane Pernet back in 2008, the festival usually happens at the Pompidou in Paris, making this debut a real treat + an event not to be missed.
To whet your appetite + get you in the mood, each day leading up to the fest, I will post a couple of past ASVOFF fashion film winners + entries.
Below is ‘I Wand Muscle’ by Elisha Smith-Leverock – Winner of the 2011 ASVOFF MK2 Grand Prix.
Peeking into the life of female bodybuilder Kizzy Vaines, the film explores a different kind of female beauty whose legitimacy is often questioned. Besides playing with taboo + gender stereotypes, the golden age of female bodybuilding is glamorized with a visual aesthetic + soundtrack of the film, reminiscent of late 70s glamour + early 80s.
The filmmaker wanted to shoot a muscle worship film but taken out of a fetish context. The idea was to break with traditional ideas of femininity in fashion + play with imagery that is conventionally perceived as glamourous, sexy, soft + feminine to then juxtaposed with displays of pure strength + shots of the grueling pain + discipline that is involved in achieving this type of physique.