Now in the sixth decade of her musical career, Marianne Faithfull has established iconic status. An unforgettable voice, a unique character – full of stories told with thrilling wit – and an undeniable talent for choosing brilliant collaborators.
This September sees the release of Faithfull's latest album, entitled Give My Love to London. Last month, Dazed's sister magazine AnOther held its first Spotlight Salon at London's Chiltern Firehouse, in partnership with Absolut Elyx and André Balazs Properties, featuring Faithfull in candid conversation with musician Anna Calvi and director Samanatha Morton. Today, AnOther premieres the music video for Faithfull and Calvi's song "Falling Back", the first official single from the album. With creative direction by Samantha Morton, the film was created by filmmaker Martina Hoogland Ivanow. Shot on location in Sweden, Ivanow’s signature nostalgic aesthetic creates a vivid, cinematic portrait inspired by "Falling Back" and Absolut Elyx’s Scandinavian provenance.
Samantha Morton, an acclaimed actress and BAFTA-nominated director, is a great admirer of both Faithfull and Calvi. "I suppose it's what you call being star struck", reveals Morton when asked about the first time she met Faithfull, just before the Spotlight Salon event. "Anna's music is incredibly present and raw," she says of the younger musician. Listening to the song for the first time in her family home in the countryside had a strong effect on Morton – "It's summertime and I'm with my children. It's bliss. Hearing the song took me to a place that felt a bit raw. I wasn't anticipating such a powerful feeling. It blew me away."
Morton had come across filmmaker and photographer Martina Hoogland Ivanow a number of years before, and has followed her progress. "Her images are like a dream. The song is very much like a dream." The pair began their collaboration with a long phone conversation and continued with thoughts over email. Ivanow was already at her summer house in Sweden where she would film. A starting point for them both was "the wilderness".
“The song ‘Falling Back’ blew me away” – Samantha Morton
"The freedom was the most rewarding part of this project," says Hoogland Ivanow. "Samantha described our collaboration as a sort of Chinese whispers – which I really like. We have quite similar ideas. She would send notes, we would talk. Our thoughts seemed connected. We were both in the countryside with children, but in different countries."
"The island where my summer house is located felt like the perfect backdrop for the song and the film. It's a dramatic, dreamlike landscape. The island doesn't look like Sweden at all – sometimes it can be like Lapland, other times Provence or northern Italy. Islands need to have a bit of everything really in order to maintain and survive. There’s white chalk, limestone, white beaches and heavy rocks. Ingmar Bergman made a lot of his films here."
The Spotlight Salon series continues at André Balazs’s properties, The Mercer, New York and Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles in the coming months
Follow Laura Bradley on Twitter here @laurasbradley