Helena Christensen and Camilla Staerk’s new short film is a surreal exploration of friendship

Please select a featured image for your post

The duo behind Staerk&Christensen directed and featured in ‘The Double Life Of’—the newest contribution to their immensely personal series

Helena Christensen and Camilla Staerk call their bond surreal. The Danish twosome have immersed themselves in a whole slew of creative endeavors, invariably side-by-side, including founding the New York based design studio Staerk&Christensen. They’ve made their mark within the spheres of art and architecture and fashion. And, most recently, the pair has landed on film as the most suitable vehicle for their uniquely mutual vision.

Christensen and Staerk are debuting the latest installment to their ongoing short film and sound concept series, In My Dream Last Night…, which they’ve entitled The Double Life Of. The inspiration is derived from Krzysztof Kieślowski’s 1991 film, La vie double de Véronique, which affected Christensen and Staerk greatly; it brought to mind their own relationship, rather uncannily.

“The essence of the story is two women in two different parts of the world being born with a mysterious bond and emotional double life,” write the pair on Kieślowski’s most beloved work. “They do not know each other, yet they have always had a sense that they are not alone.” Christensen and Staerk imagine themselves in like manner in The Double Life Of, as two distinct elements of a sole being—separate, but orbiting one another solemnly, tenderly. Aesthetically, this fresh installment settles seamlessly beside its In My Dream Last Night… precursors. It’s filmed by Hunter Barnes with a Super 8 camera, resulting in a grainy black-and-white picture that Christensen and Staerk claim as essential to their particular visual language. “[It is] an ode to and expression of our love for film noir and the haunted glamour of Old Hollywood, which is expressed in all that we do.”

The Double Life Of features no soundtrack but the single-minded whir of the camera. Christensen and Staerk are the film’s only actors, moving and staying still in a wintry, bucolic, perhaps domestic locale. The credits roll before a minute is through—The Double Life Of trails off in the nature of its title. Christensen and Staerk have called In My Dream Last Night… “surreal in nature,” and continually reimagine the series in accordance with this description. Their newest film, however, takes on a newfound straightforwardness. The notion of the surreal can be located in the pair’s profound affiliation, which blooms against an unembellished backdrop.