Inspired by European espionage movies from the 1970s, a series of Instagram films by Valextra and creative director Marlon Rueberg celebrates the colourful cast of characters that frequent Bar Basso
Directed by Milan-based Marlon Rueberg, the series of five Instagram shorts – One For The Road – has been slowly released on Valextra’s account since December last year. Starring the likes of Benedetta Barzini (the 73-year-old Italian model who walked Simone Rocha’s Milan show last February) and singer Miragal, Rueberg aimed to capture the essence of Bar Basso’s varied patrons, from ‘grandmothers who live next door, to international fashion journalists’. Bar Basso is Rueberg’s local watering hole – not to mention the design world’s favourite haunt during Salone del Mobile. ‘I'm usually the guy sat in the corner, observing,’ he says. ‘I aimed to capture these quiet moments of contemplation in the films – and the beauty of people-watching in such a place.’ The bar’s cacophony of design-era influences is almost as eclectic as its customer base: the napkin design has remained unchanged since 1970, and the neon sign outside has been hanging since 1956.
Rueberg cites 1960s and 70s movies as inspirations. Think early James Bond, seventies European espionage classics, and even Law & Order. ‘Directors of this era were so good at taking moments of nothingness and exaggerating them,’ says Rueberg. Here, he takes the simple motif of the quick drink pit-stop, and elevates it to dramatic heights. Despite its silver screen aesthetic, the series is intended solely for Instagram. ‘Nowadays, it seems we're always thinking in squares,’ explains Rueberg. ‘It’s what clients tend to want.’ Though hosted by Valextra, leather products play a subtle, effective role: a handbag cast here by Barzini, a purse opened by Miragal. Bar Basso, with its late-night Milanese majesty, is the undisputed star.