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BON VOYAGE: On Tuesday night, a small group of revelers and reporters gathered at the Core Club for a small cocktail party to celebrate “Here,” a short film and promotional project for the Luxury Collection Hotels chain conceived by Luca Guadagnino with Waris Ahluwalia, Tilda Swinton and her artist companion, Sandro Kopp.
The audience included all four principles as well as the piece’s featured player, model Agyness Deyn. Filmgoers gathered on the rounded, seafoam-colored lounges in the members-only club’s screening room, which, as one reclined partygoer noted, looked, “like where a Sixties James Bond villain would watch pornography.”
“It all began as a conversation with Waris and Tilda and Sandro not so long ago,” said Luxury Collection executive Paul James, “a group of people talking about how wonderful it is to travel. Luca really made it our vision…and beyond.” Guadagnino previously directed Ahluwalia and Swinton in “I Am Love,” and sat among his actors in the front row.
The audience (which was mostly press and which, thanks to the popcorn that had been doused in it, smelled very strongly of truffle oil) watched Deyn on-screen, trotting through various Luxury Collection properties wearing a winsome grin that seemed to signify her surprise at being featured in the project. Deyn’s character followed cryptic, handwritten, wax-sealed notes to the luxury chain’s properties and sampled their posh activities: falconry and a rowboat in Vermont, swimming in a lake-sized pool in Phoenix, sunbathing and a candlelit dinner on the beach in Hawaii.
“I’ve always wanted to be an actress,” Deyn, soft-spoken and spruced up in a gauzy drop-waisted Marc Jacobs sheath, said after the screening. “To work with Tilda, with Luca, even with Waris, who’s a good friend and I’ve known for ages, it was a dream.”
Guadagnino was quick to share the love: “It was a group decision, most everything,” Guadagnino explained, “Waris and Tilda and Sandro. We all thought about it together. What you see, what I see, that’s genetic, really. That I cannot explain: It is just my taste, the way I shoot.”
Swinton and Kopp, who were interviewed together and spent most of the evening linked at the elbow, were not featured in the film itself, but were instrumental in its creation.
“We wanted it to be ethereal, dreamlike, but also, well, sort of a thriller,” Swinton explained.
Kopp agreed: “We had a lot of discussion about it as a tribute of sorts to…” Swinton gleefully jumped in, “[Alfred] Hitchcock!” before she clutched at Kopp’s jaw with one hand. “I can’t travel without a sweetheart,” Swinton offered, of the film in its final version. Kopp rolled his eyes, and she laughed, chastised, “It’s true!”