Ache. Discomfort. Isolation. Three words that sum up the mood of the past year, words that are crystallized into To Erase a Cloud, the debut film of Jim Longden, 21, former model of Comme des Garçons and now director.

The short focuses on the life of John Little, a young man who finds himself facing his own inner demons while in isolation when his mother dies. Played by Longden’s best friend, Sonny Hall, a 22-year-old former London model and now a poet, To Erase a Cloud it is, in short, a dark film, but full of poetry.

In the opening scene we see Hall wriggling shirtless in his room (the floor is littered with half-empty cans of Polish beer and red wine): his body writhes, his limbs loose like spaghetti. We see him dance in the soft tobacco light in what appears to be a moment of joy, then run to the balcony, throw himself to the ground, burst into tears. An image that may seem sad to us, but in Little’s nihilism, in its final rendering, there is a sense of solitude in which to recognize oneself.

Per Longden – represented by IMG – the film wants to be powerful awareness of reality, an exhortation “to love and appreciate the truest aspects of life”, He says. “Many of us find ourselves in a false, facade reality, we all want a” perfect “reality, even though we know that nobody is perfect”.

Longden, who has rewritten the film 27 times since late 2019, has cast Hall for the title role. “There is something special about him, a light in the soul is reflected in his movements, in his expressions. He had never acted before, and I had never directed before, so we were both eager and eager to work together to create something to be proud of, ”says the director.

With the executive production of the actress and artist (and new Gucci muse) Lily Gavin, by Dexter Navy and Henry Burch, along with associate producer Olmo Schnabel (who also produced ‘Giants Being Lonely’), the 20-minute film was shot entirely on 16mm and will be released on the festival circuit in spring.

Dexter Navy and Jim Longden

“In a way, my personal experiences gave me everything I needed to play this role,” explains Hall. “I recognized myself in history through many parts of me, those parts of me that continually need new containers in which to throw myself, stay and“ marinate ”, and then be able to express myself. This film, and this role, have been that container for a few months ”.

Despite never having acted before, Hall is closely tied to the film’s main character, John Little. Before filming began, after three years of being sober, Hall relapsed and returned to rehab for three months. “Pretending to drink wasn’t too difficult, but connecting with the madness that underlies the need to act like that was definitely a risk for me,” he says. “And I also found that, as John Little, ‘pretending’ to grieve her mother’s death was difficult, because I lost mine six years ago. Accepting that idea cost me a lot, for many reasons, but Jim helped me, he was with me in all the moments when I was uncomfortable, simply giving me a space where I could try anything in total freedom ”.

But beyond John Little’s extreme behavior, To Erase a Cloud is above all the story of a man who seeks a glimmer of hope even in the most negative situations. “Johnny is a person who is simply going through a sequence of events, chaotic and human, which generates in him pain, loneliness, self-loathing, destructive impulses, obsessive thoughts and depression, and from which he cannot see himself outside. And I know that most people, sooner or later, will be suffocated by that same grip, ”concludes Hall. “We are all alone, even though we are together,” Longden adds. “I think we are all looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, and sometimes we realize that the light has always been there, simply because we are alive.”

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