Having recognised a kindred sensibility in McRae’s provocative work, Australian skincare brand Aēsop commissioned her to conceive a short film to coincide with their website relaunch. ‘Morphē’ playfully presages a new juncture for science and beauty, transforming an old Amsterdam church into a meticulously ordered space that references Aesop’s own laboratory. Here, a painstaking Scientist employs an assortment of gels, liquids, and weird contraptions to minister arcane beauty treatments to a sleeping Muse. At the edge of this world, the skin and hair play key roles for the female specimen fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a new kind of super-sensory beauty treatment.
McRae describes her film inspired chiefly by nineteenth-century scientist and philosopher Hermann von Helmholtz, and his revolutionary research on human perception: ‘Everything’, wrote Helmholtz, ‘is an event on the skin’. ‘I wanted to suggest a journey inside a world beyond skin care, one that involves farther realms of perception within the sensory landscape of the human body. The skin and hair play key roles for the female specimen fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a new kind of super-sensory beauty treatment.
Writer / director – Lucy McRae
Producer – Holly Krueger
Production Designer – Barnaby Monk
Creative Assistant – Maaike Fransen
DoP – Hessel Waalewijn
Editor – Ine van den Elsen
Original Music – Noia
Line producer / 1st AD – Laetitia Migliore
Costume Designer – Janneke Verhoeven
Production Assistant - Holger Gons / Jack Yoern
Project Manager – Dan Honey
Art Department – Maya LaCroix / Frank Verkade / James Teng
Muse – Cara To
Scientist – Victor Helmich
Casting – Sanne van Wersch
Making of – Leslie Askew
Lighting Design – Owen Kuipers
Jib and dolly – Camalot
Electrics – Het Licht
Special thanks – Lotje Sodderland, Dennis Paphitis, Hiroko Shiratori, Pascale Thouzery and Lou Weis.