The modelling trade is tantalising in its prospects for visible glamour. Because the biting title of Marcos Mereles’ debut characteristic suggests, All Is Vainness is initially extra involved with pulling again the curtain on an trade obsessive about picture. The movie revels in its mundanity of a two-day vogue shoot, led by a pompous photographer (Sid Phoenix), his idealistic intern (Yaseen Aroussi), plus a mannequin (Isabelle Bonfrer) and a make-up artist (Rosie Metal). But, even when the professionals are managing technical difficulties, energy outages and a line of unflattering garments to shoot, they’re simply as cutthroat and exclusionary. Prepared to pounce on anybody who reveals vulnerability, the photographer mocks intern Luke’s cowl letter which particulars his “inner torment.”
Completely set in a single location, the loft is directly cavernous and claustrophobic; mirrors scattered round converse to the multiplicity of its narratives. The area is misleading in its sparse ornament, because it conceals secrets and techniques that slowly reveal themselves to forestall the locale from ever feeling drained.
When the make-up artist disappears the following morning, Mereles weaves a thriller that unravels like nesting dolls. It is a movie of two halves, however begins to lose its manner as soon as it makes an attempt to elucidate the disappearance. For all of its early simplicity, All Is Vainness goals increased by holding one other mirror between the worlds of vogue and cinema. There was potential for a Charlie Kaufman-esque mind-bender centred across the artificiality of filmmaking, or maybe even one thing akin to Primer in its low-budget ingenuity. That promise is left unfulfilled by an overstuffed script that ties itself in knots to transcend style. In flip, Chekhov’s weapons are deserted — leaving them as irritating crimson herrings.