Los Angeles-based director Jimmy Marble directs this uplifting narrative short about two star-crossed companions who are determined to jumpstart their long-distance relationship with a city break. But their plans hit a snag when they mistakenly fly to different cities. Undeterred by this hiccup, the women choose to double their cultural experience and live out parallel weekends on FaceTime.
“The two best friends love each other, fail each other, try to do right by each other, all the while looking like each other,” says Marble. “But instead of being a perfect match, the women discover they actually complement one another, which is all they really want from a best friend.”
Their hotels are not only a gateway to the world but provide a welcome break from the city’s sights and sounds. Marlyn returns to the chic comforts of INK Hotel in Amsterdam, which encourages guests to create inspiring stories, hearkening back to the building’s past as the headquarters of a Dutch newspaper. On the other side of the world Irina reclines at the award-winning 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, a museum and boutique hotel reflecting the city’s flourishing contemporary art scene.
Sister Cities is the second collaboration between MGallery and Nowness.
I chose to use split screens so we could see Irina and Marlyn’s body language open and close towards each other as the story progressed, but to build harmony and symmetry between their two worlds I played with composition and color.