Instagram: @retorta.joao @bullionproductions
A lost property office is the setting for João Retorta’s new music video entitled ‘Halston’. The track comes from Grammy and Academy Award-nominated composer Stephan Moccio. Produced by Bullion Productions, the melancholic, instrumental track is perfectly accompanied by occasional voicemail entreaties from people relaying how much a lost item means to them. "We were interested in exploring the question of ‘what do the objects we leave behind tell us about ourselves?" said Bullion's EP Joel Spencer. "This setting works as a vehicle for us to look at these items and question the story behind them and how they came to be lost. We wanted them to work as small windows for something bigger. Something that is down to the viewer to fabricate." "I was primarily interested in exploring life in the city and the human experience in a very subtle way," adds Retorta. "But there are many other themes running through the film, all very subtle and unexplained; nostalgia, grief, loss, loneliness, melancholia, love, etc. But I’d like the viewer to take what they want from it. A Contax G2 camera might trigger something different to me than it does to you, or someone else. The dog leash will probably do the same. To me that’s the beauty of it." The budget for the video was very small, as is very often the case with promos, which posed some challenges for the director but not as many as you might think, as he explains; "It restrained our creative and technical choices, even though I wouldn't have shot it much differently if I had all the money in the world. I wanted to make something very rigid from the offset, I’d only have used the occasional dolly move, and would have shot it on film if we had the means to do so." The slow-moving and contemplative nature of the track and the resulting video is also something that appealed to Retorta: "The first hook was Stephan’s music. It’s not every day that I receive a brief for a track like this in my inbox. It came with the opportunity to make something different from what I've been doing recently, and that was the main attraction for me. Most of my work has been very fast-paced and energetic when, deep down, I know that I gravitate much more towards slow-burning and contemplative cinema. I've been wanting to explore and show that side of myself for a long while and Stephan’s music presented the perfect opportunity to do it.".
Originally from Lisbon, Portugal, João moved to London in 2011 where his passion for UK culture and European Cinema inspired much of his development as a filmmaker. João's raw, cinematic approach makes his work instantly recognisable. With his finger firmly on the pulse of contemporary youth culture, he tackles the subject matter with effortless authenticity, which is readily apparent in his music videos and works for musicians and brands such as Stormzy, Royal Blood, Adidas, Nike, Sports Direct and Amex.