“Growing up, I was always fascinated with the suburban moms of my friends,” says Michael Scanlon, one half of the creative duo Condo. “The ones who drove their kids to school every morning, in their black luxury SUVs, windows tinted black to barely legal limits. At 9:00 AM, in full makeup. I often wondered about their crippling obsession with beauty and the appearance of youth.” This curiosity with the facade was the starting point for Scanlon and partner Thomas Gibbons’s new project, “Theoria,” debuting here on Document exclusively, which mediates on the inherent codes of vehicular spaces and the transformational potentiality of casual encounters. Responding to a culture today of transactional sex, the piece—the first film from the pair—pushes this concept of interpersonal privacy further, looking back to a time when men cruised in public spaces with coded eye contact. In it, the gaze of one, in particular, model Diego Villarreal, is a powerful agent of change for Lida Fox, reclusive and closeted in a shadowed sedan surely in search of something, too. The shroud, a symbol of ultimate beauty, likens to that of death mask, à la Thomas Mann’s “Death In Venice,” and is almost spiritually removed by the reversal of the gesture. Inspired in equal parts by Serge Lutens’s dramatic tenure at Shiseido and Jean Genet’s seminal film “Un Chant D’amour,” the short film—whose name, derived from thea (seeing) and hora (care, solicitude, urgency), implies a careful act of seeing—submits a thoughtful vision that has the power to unlock deep truths in an antiquated culture of shame.
Directors Thomas Gibbons and Michael Scanlon. Director of Photography Patrick Sher. Producer Ames Petrossi. Fashion Editor John Vertin. Set Design Lucas Lefler. Score Adrian Martins. Hair Michael Lollo at Honey Artists. Makeup Marla Belt at Streeters. Nail Technician Holly Falcone at Kate Ryan. Models Diego Villarreal at Soul and Lida Fox at Next. Assistant Camera Ryan Nocella. Gaffer Seth Coleman. Associate Set Design Jonathan Qualtere. Editor Drew Taylor. Post Production Velem at Milk. Color Correction Derrick Yuen. Production Assistant Bashira Webb.