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1 May 2019

Cousin John

by Alice May


Hilton Dresden: “Cousin John” - 4 mins 11s

Languorous and lovely, this promo for Hilton Dresden's 'Cousin John' is a paean to a slower world of romance, longing, and sumptuous fashion. It is how the Deep South would be if the Belle Epoque had embraced people of all creeds, colours, genders and sexes: gentle and genteel, sensually open and - of course - completely free of social media and mobile phones.

The track itself is a play on 'Cousin Jane' by 60s band The Troggs, and luxuriates in the unhurried unfolding of a love requited. Everyone is beautiful and non-binary; the rustle of the fabrics and the opulent settings almost tangible. As we watch, we catch ourselves making the effort to match the pace of the promo; at first awkwardly, then later, embracing it.

There is a gorgeous juxtaposition of the decadent wealth with its candlelit vanitas table settings, and the modern world negotiated by Cousin John as he walks the streets of the city in his gilded clothes.

We should applaud the way this track-and-promo combo ignores the music scene around it. There's something deeply felt about the message it radiates... and an unexpectedly resonant joy at the end when Cousin John is reunited with the love who has been pining for him.


Director: Tom C J Brown
Executive Producer: Tom C J Brown / Zack Kortright / Zachary Luke Kislevitz
Cinematographer: Cristina Dunlap
1st AC / Focus Puller: Kelli Wilcoxen
2nd AC: Graeme Dempsey
Steadicam Operator: Jesse Sanchez-Strauss
Gaffer: Monifa Larena
Production Designer: Alexandra Kaucher
Wardrobe: Bex Sheers
Hair Design: Lia Parkes
Make-Up: Lia Parkes
Choreography: Jesse Kovarsky / Martha Phelan / Celia Rowlson-Hall ♀
Editor: Drigan Lee
VFX Shoot S'visor: Matthias Bauerle
Colourist: Kath Raisch
Performance: Hilton Dresden / Cousin John

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