Step into a primitive universe, a world free from rules and convention. A group of kids who exist in a Spartan world happen upon a one-eyed cat and bring the animal into their fold. Curiosity ultimately turns to reverence, as the band of kids begins to emulate its newfound member and looks to the cat as a symbol of strength and solidarity in their wild existence.
Shrouded in mystery and nostalgia, the story takes us to a parallel plane where in the kids’ far-reaching imaginations, Saturn is not that far away.
Key prints and pieces from our Stella Kids collection feel playful and fit perfectly in the story’s nostalgic paradigm; the styling feels free, as if the kids have dressed each other.
We caught up with creative production company CANADA London to dig deeper into their thought process for this story and what this one-eyed cat symbolises. Read our conversation with Roger Guàrdia below.
900 MILLION MILES IS NOT THAT FAR AWAY
1.448.409.600 KILOMETERS IS NOT THAT FAR AWAY
Roger, talk us through the inspiration behind the story.
Not that long before starting this project I read an article about the psychology behind superstitions and how that effects decisions we make in the “real” world. One part of the article jumped out and stayed with me, it was about how people are less likely to adopt black cats as they are regarded as “unlucky”. Around the same time I had found some striking images of a one-eyed cat and feral cats living on the streets. These ideas kept coming back to me as I was developing an approach to this film.
I knew I wanted to make a short narrative piece so I built a world where a kid finds a one-eyed cat, something he has never seen before. How would the kid deal with this, what would his first impressions be? Would he reject the cat? Would he be scared of the cat? Or would the kid embrace the animal? I was then thinking of how a kid living in a traditional “adult” world might react; they would more than likely be conditioned by their parents, the older people in their lives, society and the attitudes and inherit the views and prejudices that are passed on. With this in mind, I wanted to portray a group of kids living on their own with no conventional rules. It would be set in a big and messy space, they would be living a free lifestyle – like they have created their own community or society. I drew some inspiration from Lord of the Flies and La Jetée as well as more contemporary works like
I also had some key references when it came to the film’s music and sound design which would set the pace and tone. An NTS Radio show called “Sounds of the Dawn” and a mix from Coucou Chloe set me on the direction I wanted to go.
What is it about the sense of freedom and solidarity we see in kids that feels so nostalgic?
I wanted to explore these moments; how kids react to situations that are unfamiliar and foreign to them. In this case, our kids want to help and be empathic with the animal. I wanted to present the internal process and thoughts from the kids’ point of view.
Where did you find our wonderful cat and what does he symbolise?
Marga, one of the producers on the project, has a friend from university who has a one-eyed cat called BO. Which means “good” in Catalan. A super chill cat as you can see in the film.
As I said, I liked the idea of the kids breaking the speciesism patterns. At the end the supposed “weakness” of the cat ends as the main symbol of their gang. We see the kids cover one eye to show solidarity and acceptance of their new friend.
How did the clothes help tell this story?
The clothes helped set the tone perfectly; they’re fun but not childish. I wanted the film to have personality. It was important for me that the clothes we selected feel natural for the kids to wear in that environment and narrative, rather than the film feeling like a traditional look book. The use of mixed media (we shot on 35mm and Super 8 film as well as photo stills) really helped to achieve how I wanted to present the clothes in my story.
Tell us about what’s next for you.
I’m working on a couple of nice projects for brands and music videos, I’m always looking to continue building my universe and shape my style. A couple of weeks ago I pitched on a track for Travis Scott which would be really exciting to be part of. I’d also love to collaborate with King Krule or Yves Tumor as well. In the longer term I’m writing and developing ideas for a short and a feature film.