“Mirada de Cristal” (Crystal Eyes)was a film I stumbled across while looking for something else. “Eyes of Crystal” was the film that I had noted on my list, but what I found instead was a 2017 Argentinian neo-Giallo set in the stylish fashion world of 1985 with a glittery, gaudy telenovela spectacle feel. When I tell you that the first 10 minutes of the film were the best .99 cents I have ever spent in my life, I genuinely mean it.
Supermodel Alexis Carpenter was an asshole. We only meet her for a few minutes in the film’s opening scenes but we learn everything we need to know about her in a dressing room sequence before she is to appear on the runway; she’s vain and self-centered diva and most likely on a lot of drugs, maybe all the drugs; she’s rude, she’s nasty, she throws a cup of scalding hot espresso into a very nice makeup artist’s face. She then takes to the runway (which is sort of meant to be an alleyway but it feels a lot like the gloomy goth darkness of the opening club scene from The Hunger) and acts like a brat, swigging champagne and spitting it on the audience members, and then somehow she gets electrocuted, catches fire and goes up in a terrifying blaze, perishing spectacularly in front of the models, and guests and all the world.
One year later, as a new show is being organized to honor the late Alexis and her legacy on the anniversary of her death, someone dressed as a showroom dummy is killing everyone associated with Alexis, one after the other. The sets and cinematography and costumes are marvelous. Even that ridiculous home that the magazine editor/fashion designer lives in! It looked like a doll’s house! I think it WAS a doll’s house! And although we don’t get to know all of the characters very well, they still seem fairly fleshed out in a way that we actually do know them a bit, or at least enough. The rest of the story is thin and there’s not much of a plot but with a film like this, who cares? I would have recommended this wholeheartedly before I even finished the film, and I still do …with the caveat that you have to be okay with a lot of campy ridiculousness in your horror pastiche viewing. If you do give it a go, please let me know what you think!
Bonus: I went going through my perfume cabinet to try and hit upon the perfect olfactory combination for this lurid arthaus melodrama, and I think I hit upon it: Regime de Fleurs Glass Blooms evokes these frosty brittle models in their shivery, shimmery finery, and Frederic Malle’s Synthetic Jungle is all plasticky murderous mannequin, and together, they are perfect!
I found Crystal Eyes on Apple TV.
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Let me tell you, regime de fleurs currently has glass bloom on sale and you’re really convincing me to blind buy! Also, I’ve never heard of this movie but it looks bonkers and I’m a sucker for anything that reminds me of the 80’s so I think I’ll watch this sometime. In a weird way that mask also reminds me of our current beauty standards because she’s giving instagram plastic surgery face. Everyone seems to have the same smooth beauty and that mask really drives the point home!
S. Elizabeth says
OMG you need to find this movie, it is so much funFunFUN! And I wholeheartedly recommend Glass Blooms. It is beautiful, full stop.